Is it blogging I wonder, or is it me. I have met some wonderful people in cyberspace with whom I have made great friends; however, these friends include a Mexican Fire Dragon who lives in a cave and owns 150 dwarves, his dragon knight, a Ninja with a cloning machine, a guy who’s garden gnomes hold weddings and who’s dog writes many of his blogs; I have even become grandmother to the dragon. Every one of them goes out of his/her way to help people as much as they can and to encourage others, particularly those who are writers who seem to need lots of encouragement even when they have been published many times. It was the dragon who drew my signature picture which I have been using and gave me the Golden Scale Award. There are many other wonderful blogging people but not all of them have alter egos.
I was writing about superstition the other day and Matt reminded me of one very important one in the annals of British History. There are ravens living in the Tower of London and legend has it that if they ever leave, the crown will fail and Britain with it. Naturally their wings are clipped to make sure this doesn’t happen. There have to be a minimum of 6 so they keep 7 just in case. They are looked after extremely well by an appointed Ravenmaster and his assistant. There are some interesting raven stories at the end of the Wiki article to which I have linked.
Another thing which came up over the weekend; because of a crossword clue, Matt asked me if I could name all of the five Great Lakes. Due to a trick passed on from his father, I could certainly do so, easily.
Superior – in other words, the first letters spell HOMES
In case you wondered, no, asparagus season is not yet over although it is fast drawing to a close. Here is a somewhat luxurious way of serving this, my favourite vegetable.
Asparagus and Lobster Crêpes with Fines Herbes Hollandaise Sauce
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
Cooked meat of 1 large lobster, or 2 lobster tails (about 1 1/2 lbs lobster before cooking)
sprinkling of salt plus 1/2 tsp.
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cubed
2 Tbs lemon juice
white pepper to taste
1 Tbs fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chives, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chervil, finely chopped.
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In a large pot, steam or boil asparagus until just tender, about 10 mins, cool under cold water, drain and set aside.
3. Coarsely chop cooked lobster, set aside
4. Prepare crêpes.
5. Divide the asparagus into 8 separate bundles. Place a bundle in each of 8 crêpes, sprinkle with salt and roll to enclose. Place asparagus in a glass baking dish, top with lobster and cover with foil. Just before serving, and no sooner, place in heated oven for 15 mins to warm through.
6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat reduce (boil) vinegar, water and 1/2 tsp salt until approximately 3 tbs remains, remove from heat.
7. Lower heat to medium-low, add yolks to pan and return to heat, whisking constantly until foamy and lightly thickened. Make sure not to scramble eggs; if the eggs begin to cook too quickly pull off the heat and whisk vigorously to cool slightly before continuing.
8. Begin to whisk butter into pan 1 cube at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, whisk in lemon juice, white pepper and fresh herbs. Use immediately.
9. Place two asparagus crêpes on each plate and top each with some of the warmed lobster. Spoon hollandaise overtop, serve immediately
Source: Food and Drink Spring 2010
If preparing this for a dinner party, the asparagus, lobster, crêpes and vinegar reduction can all be prepared beforehand so that the only thing left to prepare is the hollandaise. Make sure to use a good quality butter so that the hollandaise has great flavour.
Have a great day