never say never

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am thus not going to declare that beginning today, instead of blogging, I am going to start working in earnest on pysanky for our spring sale  as soon as I tear myself away from this computer. Nor am I going to resolve not to post new Pysanky pictures until after the sale  (I’ve already not shown six from last fall). Nor am I going to promise to keep silent from now, in light of the pre-pre Lenten Meeting of our Lord in the Temple beginning with Vespers tomorrow night, until Pascha. Seems like I could avoid my sometimes misguided (so my husband says) compunction over impulsive posting if I did though. But maybe such resolutions are impulsive too.

Probably see you either in a couple of hours or tomorrow. Whichever way the wind blows.

Or how about a few seconds later. I’m going to blog about how I like to post about wrecked ships, figuratively speaking. Saturday I almost posted a picture I actually took with my blog in mind. It is of my new pots and pans recently dirtied by my first Eggs Benedict, requested by my now 10 year old birthday girl. There were a lot of them, shiny on the outside and dirty on the inside. Before that, while I was serving the whisked hollandaise, I thought, I should take a blog picture of one served on a pretty dish. But then I’d also have to clean the counter or find some better background, not to mention get out a ceramic plate or even a china dish instead of the plastic ones I already had out. The thought filled me with dread at such added expended energy, plus the delay of gratification to either me or the other intended recipients, not to mention that they would get cold, and the hollandaise was already getting too thick, the opposite problem I anticipated after having watched another person make hollandaise a very long time ago. So I decided to post my dirty pots and pans as a quirky protest to Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens. After downloading the  picture, I thought, why do I think people need to see my dirty dishes? Then I felt like a sadist.

I must say that I no longer look at Victoria magazine or Southern Living or any of those perfect homes shows. I’ve even avoided some fancy restaurants lately. I recognize the aesthetic appeal to perfectionism, but I guess if you’ve seen 1000, you’ve seen ’em all. Dirty pots and pans, especially my new Triple Clad Stainless Cuisinart ones, are more interesting to me. A sink full of dirty plastic is not photo worthy, but I’m very impressed with these dishes, dirty or clean. Hopefully they are my last set of pots and pans. My previous two were non-stick sets, but the surface peels off after a couple of years and how safe is that, much less wasteful of money and landfill. These also save in electricity because you cook on lower heat. Once they get up to the right heat, which takes longer, the heat is more evenly distributed and effective, so that cooking time is reduced after that point. Most stuck-on food is easily removed after soaking on the still warm element for a spell. Eggs are the worst at sticking, even on the lowest heat. My recipe, which I can’t find the link to, called for poaching eggs in half a skillet full of boiling water and vinegar. That was weird. The thinnest part of the whites foamed up, so I skimmed them. This left the whites that stuck to the yolks to form cute little orange centered blobs, the bottom of which sometimes still stuck to the pan, through the water! Oh well.

I suppose cooking Eggs Benedict is still a bit Martha Stewart-ish, however. Oh, here it is anyway.

And here’s the unlinked recipe, which I think is from foodnetwork dot com, but none of them match the following, which I fortunately emailed to my other daughter, and subsequently doubled.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt

Directions

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

  • EGGS BENEDICT
  • 8 slices Canadian bacon
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain. To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings

(I skipped the inconsistently pretentious garnish.)

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