Breakfasts tend to be only a passing thought for most people - in my family they have an almost religious importance... at least on weekends. I can't say this is an old family tradition I have carried on from my parents, in Austria, the first meal of the day usually consists of a slice of bread, butter and jam washed down with a mug of milky coffee... on Sundays, you might be lucky and have a basket of breadrolls, ham cut so thin you could read the newspaper through it and a soft-boiled egg with that. It was only when I lived in Mexico that I was introduced to a proper cooked breakfast and how to start your day in style... huevos any which way, always with frijoles and tortillas, a glass of juice and a good helping of tropical fruit.
But it's not just about what you eat, it's more about this being like a ritual which starts with shouting, then cursing three storeys up to wake up our fair, but permanently sleep-deprived teenager, but eventually resolves into quality time spent over good food and conversations that, boys allowing, tend to linger well past midday. Far from just shoving down a bowl of heavily processed cereal, we brew some nice green tea (at least 10 wonderful varieties that need careful selection), cook some eggs - benetine or florendict (which is just my weird way of showing that I don't do anything by the book), oeufs cocotte, huevos a la mexicana, etc - maybe even fry a pancake or two and, a few half hours into our conversation probably a fruit salad and most definitely some freshly brewed coffee.
And if you thought that was idyllic, you wouldn't believe how I am craving a breakfast where no toddler is hanging over my shoulders, almost strangling me, while I try and use a knife and fork safely and manage to catapult my food into my mouth and not onto my lap, where I don't have to get up every ten minutes to toast yet another slice of home-made sourdough and smother it with butter, and where I can read a newspaper front to back (have you also found that men - I mean the average man, not my husband who's not in the least interested in the rugby or cricket scores and I thank God for it daily - read newspapers back to front) without having to sort out an argument? Ah! that would be some breakfast!
But I shouldn't complain. The breakfast featured is from last Saturday where I managed to make the perfect sauce hollandaise (in my humble opinion)... I know I am fortunate in that making said sauce, which is probably the most dreaded of them all, more so even than mayonnaise, I have excellent help at hand in the form of my Thermomix, but I have had ups and downs here as well...it always turned out, don't get me wrong, but my daughter (hollandaise addict par excellence) would still say it didn't taste like the one from the jar. This time I, quite by chance, added hot water and the sauce turned out to much smoother, thicker, creamier and fluffier and, well, just perfect, even for my picky teenager, which is why I even bothered you with this in the first place...
4 egg yolks
120 g butter
juice of half a lemon
salt and white pepper to taste
1 dash tabasco
50 g hot water
Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before you start. (Except the hot water, of course)
Place the egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and condiments in the Thermomix bowl. Add the butterfly whisk and put the lid on.
Set the TX to 6 minutes/80C/speed 3. As you start the machine, wait a few seconds, then slowly pour in the hot water over the little transparent lid (as you would do with oil for the mayonnaise). Leave to cook until thickened, adding a few minutes if needed.
* If you do not own a Thermomix, I have it from a good source that you can still make your perfect hollandaise. Put a glass or metal bowl over a pot of boiling water, first melt the butter, then one by one add the egg yoks, with a fast stirring action and aided by a whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce has thickened.