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1:54pm on Sunday, 29th October, 2006:

Eggs Benedict


One of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given was in about 1985 or 1986 by Roy Trubshaw. It was: "Whenever you're staying in America, always have the eggs benedict for breakfast".

Up until then I'd never had eggs benedict, so I tried it. Now, I always have them if they're on the breakfast menu. You just can't go wrong with eggs benedict.

This isn't to say they're all the same. Sometimes the "Canadian ham" is 5mm thick and sometimes it's 1mm thick; sometimes it has a rind on it you have to pull off and sometimes you can eat it with no ill effects; sometimes the muffins are bigger than the ham and sometimes they're not. They're always good, though (and this includes the ones I've eaten at places like Denny's).

I've no idea how to make eggs benedict, although I could look it up I guess. I don't tend to get along with recipes, though. For example, I've just Googled how to make Hollandaise sauce and it starts off:

Melt the butter and keep it warm.
Heat the vinegar or lemon juice until just warmed. Have small saucepan with boiling water and a measuring tablespoon ready.

Call me a programmer, but if I need to have a small saucepan with boiling water ready, I want to be told to boil water in a small saucepan before it has to be ready. Being told I should have done it earlier isn't my idea of a good instruction.

The other thing about recipes is that they use words I know but don't know:

If the sauce starts to separate
If the sauce has curdled

I know what "separate" and "curdle" mean, but I've no idea how I'd recognise that the sauce has done either.

Fortunately, I don't have to make my own eggs benedict — trained chefs do it for me. All I have to do is eat them.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).