A lovely weekend

Good morning my darlings, I hope your weekend was a happy one?

My daughters pulled out all the stops for Mothering Sunday. Starting with a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict, smoked salmon and bucks fizz. I was utterly stuffed and after a cup of tea and the papers one was ready for anything.

Serves two

4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
10 peppercorns
175g butter, cut into cubes
3 egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon
4 eggs, poached
4 muffins, toasted
4 slices of ham
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
Good pinch of chopped chives

First, make the sauce: put the vinegar, shallots and peppercorns in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then continue to boil until reduced by about two-thirds. Strain the reduction into a glass bowl and set aside.

Clarify the butter by melting it in a heavy pan set over a gentle heat. Skim the foam off the surface until only clear liquid remains. Remove from the heat and leave the butter to cool until tepid, then carefully tip out into a clean bowl, leaving behind any solid residue.

A bit of a faff!!! I am more likely to buy a jar and add a squeeze of lemon juice to pep it up. Mr.Lee would do it ( and does) from scratch. Horses for courses.

Next, place a round heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg yolks and the vinegar reduction. Beat the mixture over the heat until it forms a smooth, thick, pale mass. Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously, adding enough of the clarified butter to make a thick, creamy sauce. To make a lovely, fluffy hollandaise, it is important to whisk in the same direction all the time. This technique takes muscle and commitment, probably even a few trips to the gym.

Heavens, perish the thought. It may not be exact the first time, but practice makes perfect.

Add lemon juice and salt to taste…. keep warm.

Put the eggs on to poach. Remove a thin slice from the top of each muffin, then put them on to toast. Keep the grill on.

Butter the toasted muffins, then arrange the ham on top. Make a thumb or spoon print in the middle of each – a neat hollow for the eggs – then put them back under the grill briefly to warm up.

When the eggs are poached, drain them well and season with salt. Carefully place the eggs in the prepared hollows on the muffins and ladle over the hollandaise. Garnish with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and chives.

Recipe from the Wolseley.

I’ve been looking for footed egg cups but as yet found none. Especially nice are the pressed or cut glass.

I would fill them with petit Spring blooms á la Martha.

The girls filled the house with daffodils as they have since very tiny. They used to come in on Mothering Sunday from church clutching handfuls and a few more collected from grassy banks on the way home.

I do hope this tradition will continue forever.


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