Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The land of embarrassment and breakfast.

Oh, you know how your parents can do all sorts of things to embarrass you when you're a kid.  Hell, I embarrass my kid all the time . . . sometimes even on purpose.  What can I say?  It's fun.

Can I remember the single most embarrassing moment of my youth that involved my mother?  You can bet your sweet bippy!  

Here's the situation.  We were at a banquet to honor my mother.  In attendance were a couple of a hundred of my mom's closest friend’s and associates . . . plus a few of my own.  There was a lovely meal, much cocktailing and even more schmoozing.  Finally, she get's up in front of the room of people to make her speech, to give her thanks and to accept her award.  She spoke eloquently . . . graciously acknowledging her helplings and those who “were wind beneath her wings” and whatnot.  As her speech wound down she said that there could never be any greater honor than this and   . . . I quote . . . "I shot my load.”

Silence.  Someone cleared their throat.  Someone stifled laughter.  I almost died.

You know, I don’t think she ever realized what she said.  And, even if she did would she even know what it was she said?  Oy.

Parents . . . gotta love ‘em.

Eggs Benedict
4 Egg Yolks
3 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Pinch Ground White Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Cup Butter, Melted
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
8 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
8 Strips Canadian-Style Bacon
4 English Muffins, Split
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened

To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.

Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate

While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

The land of embarrassment and breakfast.
--Julian Barnes

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