Thursday, November 29, 2012

Eggs Benedict Chez Marilyn

We wanted something a bit different for dinner tonight.  But what?  Breakfast was mentioned.  Pancakes were also mentioned, but were quickly tossed aside.
Eggs Benedict became the clear front runner.

I went shopping and purchased the required ingredients.

Then we got in the kitchen and worked together to create our family's version of this classic dish.

Eggs Benedict Chez Marilyn
Serves 3

Hollandaise sauce:
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

6 slices bacon

3 slices ciabatta bread, sliced 1/2" thick and toasted

Fresh baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry

1 Roma tomato, sliced

3 eggs, poached

Salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment:
1 tablespoon white vinegar in simmering water to help keep egg whites together when poaching eggs

 While the bacon cooked in the toaster oven, I worked on the hollandaise sauce.
Gently cook the egg yolk and lemon juice in a bowl over simmering water, whisking constantly until the egg just turns color.  Add the pats of butter, one at a time, continuing to whisk until incorporated.
Then we poured it into a thermos so that it would stay warm until we were ready for it.

 Then I turned my attention to the poached eggs while the Foodie Daughter and Boyfriend worked on the other parts of the meal.

 Bacon is a beautiful thing.

 And this is even more beautiful.

The magical moment when one breaks into the yolk.

This was a very satisfying dinner.
I even caught the Foodie Daughter licking her plate.
Yes, it was that good.

But it was as much fun to make dinner together as it was to eat it together.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Birds

I awoke this morning to a strange whooshing noise outside the house.  At first I thought it might be the wind, but that didn't quite sound right.

Later, I saw shadows passing the window and I looked outside to see thousands of birds in the backyard.

I grabbed my iPhone and went outside.

 The strange sound was soon explained: the whoosh was the sound of their wings when the entire flock would take to flight at once.

 It was a magnificent sight.

After a bit they left the neighborhood, but not before eating all the berries on my dogwoods and leaving a mess on the deck and the Foodie Daughter's car.

Oddly enough, I later caught up with that same flock up in town.
After all, it's not that difficult to miss a flock that large.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A New Visitor to the Garden

The other day I looked out the library window and saw a most unusual sight.
I saw a large woodpecker unlike any I had seen before.

We often have a yellow-bellied sapsucker visit us during the winter, and sometimes a hairy woodpecker will come a knockin' at the door, so to speak.

But this is the first time that I have ever seen a pileated woodpecker.

It came to feast on the berries of the dogwood tree.

It was difficult to get a good picture of this beautiful bird through the screened window.
This is a large bird.

The pileated woodpecker came back this morning for more berries.

I think we have a repeat visitor.
I'm a happy amateur birdwatcher.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fall's Last Hurrah

Most of these pictures were taken a few weeks ago.

Sadly, with the rough year we have had, the colorful fall foliage was bright but brief. 

Jordan River in the middle of Indiana University is still running low.

Colorful trees across the parking lot at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Sugar maple on the west side of town.  
I am sorry that I missed the peak of this tree's magnificence.*

*Do as I say and not as I do: Don't take pics as you are driving!
Leave that for the professionals.

A late season bouquet.

And snow!

Ack, snow!
Make it go away!