Blue skies are coming

Spring 2010 officially started at 9:32 PST yesterday. Today, as long-standing tradition dictated, I got gussied up in a skirt (and yes, stockings) to celebrate. My friend Ashley and I have been observing this all-important date for many years now. Sometimes we make daisy chains, sometimes we climb trees, sometimes we drink wine and go to philosophy class tipsy. But, we always wear skirts and we always take pictures. 

Gracie joined us in our revels this year.

During the past week I volunteered at a couple of local farms and brought home some delicious bounty.

I put some of it to good use this morning when, for the first time ever, I made hollandaise sauce. I broke the emulsification. Then I started over with a fresh egg yolk, broke it again, said bloody hell, moved on, stirred in a spoonful of cream and, like magic, it resuscitated. I do need to work on this some more though, methinks.

 I drizzled the intensely yellow sauce (thanks, no doubt, to those free-roaming chickens whose eggs I used) over fistfuls of beautiful yellow-flowering brassicas (so young they barely took a minute to steam).

Marvelous. The richness of the hollandaise was belied by the bright citrus contributions of orange and lemon. It was fresh and light (yes, I realize I'm talking about something that uses over a stick of butter here) and decidedly in the spirit of Spring.

I may remind you of a broken record but I used another recipe from Nigel Slater's Tender. He seems like a perfectly nice guy, but just in case, I'm not going to transcribe the recipe here. I also am clearly no expert on hollandaise. Yet. But, it's simple. All you do is make a basic hollandaise sauce and, at the very last minute, season it with a squirt of lemon juice, some salt, finely grated orange zest and a couple spoonfuls of cream. May I suggest spooning it over some very fresh greens that you've steamed then piled over thick slices of good, toasted bread?

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