It’s been a strange up and down kinda day today. As far as ups are concerned, well I started out by getting up early for a major downer which included five hours of thesis work and a resulting major headache. I’m not sure, but when you get a headache from trying to read and understand the things that you yourself have written.. That’s probably not a good thing? So, lots of major re-vamping today and clearing up of some rather unclear paragraphs.. Good times.. Well, not really.. But lotsa work done none the less.
Things improved considerably at around 5-ish when Zascha dropped by to say hello, chat a little and show me pictures of killer whales.. In no particular order. Always a pleasure to see her if only for too short. But, well, she had dinner plans and I had dinner plans. Hers revolved around getting home before the family started to worry and mine revolved around cooking dinner for Tina and I before we got around to a night of working on our theses.. Which, if anybody asks, is what I’m doing right now..
Dinner plans started out rather simple but, as so oft times before warped into something rather intricate. It started, as oft times before, with Tina stabbing at me with complaints. Apparently the poor, mistreated and never-spoiled-silly little thing was upset and jealous because I made a status update on Facebook about eating filet of beef out of the freezer to save money on food (Hey, it was there and paid off a long time ago). I countered with something along the lines of “it’s not like I ever spoil you with good meals and it’s not like I didn’t save the beef tenderloin to share with you.” which softened her up considerably especially once I told her that I’d only share if she helped make the Sauce Bearnaise to go along.. Which in turn made her overly excited and made her declare that “this is what we’re having Thursday night when you’re coming over!”
Well, we all know I can’t say no to a pretty blue. eyed blonde.. Thus, through the magic of Facebook status updates and comments, the pact was apparently sealed, and this apparently was what we were having on an ordinary Thursday working night.. The fact that the Sauce Bearnaise required rather unusual ingredients, hard work, research and is a dish generally feared by most common people was, of course, completely ignored.. That’s just how we roll. To be honest, I was mainly excited because most recipes call for a splash of wine to be added, so I saw it as a great excuse for sharing a bottle of wine after we were done with our work. The other harsh fact, that most people would have run screaming from the thought of having to prepare complicated reductions, clarify butter and make water bath emulsifications of eggs and said clarified butter in a tiny tea kitchen.. I once again plainly ignored.. After all, how hard could it be? And if all else failed, there’d still be beef tenderloin and wine, right? As it turns out, things weren’t half as complicated as they were hyped up to be. Carrying all the silly, fancy ingredients down to Tina turns out to be about the hardest part of the endeavor, a grueling task I set out on once Zascha had left.
Tina’s on this insane, stupid and crazy work out schedule at the moment, so she was out when I arrived.. So I locked myself in and got all the preparations out of the way before Tina arrived home tired and hungry to the smell of potatoes and bacon wrapped green beans in the oven.. Which, come to think of it, probably didn’t help. I wanted to cheer her up with a glass of wine, but we were working, so meh.. Instead she sat down and got some work done while I got to the business of clarifying butter, frying steaks, making a mess of things and whisking my left arm off.
I’d figured making Bearnaise would be a lot like making mayonnaise only using melted butter instead of oil and having the additional worry in shape of the heat factor to worry about.. Which was pretty much the case, except it was surprisingly straight forward. Heat shallot and tarragon reduction in water bath, add egg yolks, whisk in clarified butter, curse some, add tarragon leaves, curse some more, whisk again and then rest your arm.. The hardest part, really, was keeping up with the whisking and the cursing. I’m not really the person to go around whisking things a lot, so by the end both my wrist, and and shoulder was sore like fuck all. Tina, bless her, did offer to help with the whisking, but I figured that since I had once in the past scolded her quite badly for touching one of my sauces, that’d just be wrong, so I suckered it up and eventually came up with something that looked a lot like Bearnaise, smelled a lot like Bearnaise.. And tasted nothing like the Bearnaise you know from the supermarket.. In a really good kinda way!
This lot of apparent Bearnaise sauce was swiftly transfered to the table and served along with the tenderloin steaks, the roast fingerling potatoes (my Nemesis) and bacon wrapped green beans to quite loud and favorable reviews.. Again I found myself wishing we’d had some wine to go along which, technically we did, but again there was the whole damn work factor thing.. Blah! But still, it was quite good.. And I say that judging by the fact that the entire 1800 calories batch of Bearnaise was gone in record time, that I myself ate about as much sauce as I usually do in a year and that Tina actually matched me in terms of size of portions consumed.. All of which are surprising and scaring factors in their own way. But then, I guess sometimes you just have to indulge a little.
After eating and a bit of food coma-ing and some complaints of tummy aches, I volunteered to do the dishes on account of still having a damn headache and being too full to concentrate anyways. Tina instead got back to complaining about writing on her thesis. Something she’s actually still doing now two hours later while I’m still trying to get started.. Mayhaps, I should just call it a day and go convince the little one to have a glass of wine with me.. Yes, I do believe that sounds like a plan!