The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Kitchen Magic // Hollandaise

Firstly, if you're tired or not in the best of moods, I wouldn't recommend trying this! It takes patience, as I found earlier this week!

I'd never made a hollandaise sauce before but, in a moment of whimsy, and upon realising I had far more eggs than I would normally eat on my own this week and some of the season's asparagus, I thought it would be a good idea. Don't get me wrong - it was a beautiful dinner and I felt a real sense of achievement, but it wasn't the easiest of tasks. 

If you want to give it a go you will need:

* 3 eggs yolks
* 150 grams of butter
* 2 tbsp cold water
* The juice of half a lemon
* Salt and pepper to taste

* A heavy-bottomed pan, a whisk and a strong arm.

There were countless recipes and methods online, but I found this one to be the most simple, without the use of a food processor. 

1. Place the egg yolks, butter and water into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat gently, whisking constantly. Do not allow the pan to overheat (the sides should be lukewarm). 
2. When the butter has melted, whisk harder and turn the heat up slightly. Do not allow the mixture to steam. If it does, take it off the heat and continue whisking furiously. 


3. Once you are happy with the thickness of your sauce, remove from the heat, squeeze in the lemon juice, taste and season to your preference. 
4. Enjoy poured over poached eggs / asparagus / salmon. 

** If you find your mixture has split or separated, you can fix this by putting a broken egg yolk into the bottom of a new pan, without heat and slowly, slowly, very slowly whisking the split mixture into it. It will combine into a thicker, glossy sauce. 

Note: If your mixture turns into scrambled eggs, it cannot be saved. This means you have had your pan too hot and you will have to enjoy scrambled eggs on toast instead!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Hedgerow Ramblings // Elderflower

Although it doesn't really feel like it with all the rain and chill, one sure sign that summer is here is the appearance of the Elderflower in the hedgerows. Every June it pops out, amongst the foliage, offering its sweet nectar to anyone wishing to take a whimsical foray into wine or cordial making. 

I've posted before about this exciting flower, its properties and some lovely recipes for utilising it. Have a gander here to find out more. If you're having a go at foraging elderflower for drinks-making this year, I wish you well and lots of enjoyment - but please take care when picking and using wild food: make sure you know what you're picking and please don't take more than you need. 


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Three Word Thursday

Lots to do!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


B and I spent a lovely few days in Pembrokeshire, on the West coast of Wales, last week.
It was absolutely stunning - rugged coastal paths, unspoilt landscapes and fascinating neolithic stone circles and burial chambers. Here is a selection of my favourite photos from our trip. I hope you enjoy...


Oh, how I wish I was back there on holiday!

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