Happy Mother's Day!
My mother is no longer with us, but this is still her day as far as I'm concerned. Imagine I'll always feel like that...it's a day of remembering for my sister and me. We often celebrated Mother's birthday at the same time as it was also in May, on the 16th. And you'll love this: her first name was May! And she had a sister named June. And another sister named Fannie. Well OK, so maybe that one didn't work out so well....Fannie was also born in May. Anyway, my family always had a double remembrance in May. This is one of my favorite photos of my mother. As you can see, she was a really good sport about wearing those ridiculous paper hats that come in the Christmas poppers. We liked this photo so much we even put it in her funeral program. It really pleased my dad, who had never seen it before.
In honor of Mother's Day, I thought it might be fun to give you Mother's (really old) recipe for her very favorite lunch/brunch: Eggs Benedict. The two of us went out to lunch a lot and if Eggs Benedict was on the menu, she'd order it. Her eyes would light up when the plate was put in front of her. She was fussy about it too. It had to be perfect hollandaise or her nose would crinkle just a little. As she grew older, she no longer made it at home for herself, but I still have her recipe to share with you. Nothing fancy, only plain and simple Eggs Benedict. Just the way she liked it. Perhaps you could add a little fresh fruit or a lovely fruit salsa to add another element on the plate.
The dish begins with an English Muffin. Now every layer of this dish is important and Mother introduced me years ago to Wolferman's English muffins. Have you heard of them? They are hands down the best, unless you make them yourself and even then, maybe not. So I started my dish with those. (I loved having an excuse for a new order... their flavors are wonderful and I was completely out of them.)
And then, of course, you brown some lovely Canadian bacon to put on top of your buttered muffin (Nobody said Eggs Benedict was a health food.) Next, poach two eggs. Perfectly. You know, the way Julia Child says to do them. Put those on top of the Canadian bacon and top with Mother's Hollandaise Sauce, which is perfection itself and so light it almost floats away. I've never made hollandaise any other way. After you taste this, you won't either. Some things just don't need improving.
Mother's Hollandaise Sauce
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
Pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
In a medium heatproof bowl set over (but not in) a large saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks with the cold water and salt until warm to the touch. Slowly drizzle in half of the melted butter in a thin stream, whisking constantly until incorporated. Continue whisking in the melted butter until the sauce is thick and emulsified. Whisk in the lemon juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire and serve warm. Serves 2.
Make ahead: The sauce can be kept warm over the hot water bath off the heat for 30 minutes. Whisk occasionally and reheat over hot water.