Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dawn Makes Hollandaise Sauce

Tonight Dawn called around 8:30 asking if I had any white wine in the house. She was making Hollandaise sauce to put on broccoli. She tried at her internship--a cooking class at Washburne Culinary Institute--and wanted to try making it at home.

I was out of wine. So I walked up to the corner liquor store on 47th and braved the scary clientele to find a bottle of California Chardonnay and bring it back. Yup-yup tried to sell me a wheelie backpack but I have one already. When I got to their house, Dawn's little cousins were playing in the front yard with Diana. Marisa, Adriana and Dawn were in the kitchen. They were teasing Dawn about how long her project was taking.

"She's been cooking three hours already," Marisa told me.

"She can't work in a restaurant yet," I teased.

She gets a copy of the new edition of the Culinary Institute of America's textbook, The Professional Chef. It's gorgeous! Marisa was copying recipes when I got there and asked me to help translate them. After a couple of hilarious minutes of me miming dicing and slicing, I went home and got my dictionary to advance the effort.

Then we got into a big discussion of what is basil, what are peppercorns, and what are shallots. I actually had some of all these things back at my house, and Dawn needed the whole pepper and shallots for the sauce, so I went home for them, too. Some days it's good to be a yuppie--how many people on this block have shallots in their house, I wondered.

While we were watching Dawn boil water and stir sauce endlessly, Marisa asked me if I believe in extraterrestrials. I said, "Sure. The universe is really big. We can't be the only people in it, right?"

Then she asked if I'd ever seen any and I said no. Adriana said she saw some unusual lights once--somewhere between Zacatecas and Ciudad Juarez, I think she said. Then Julian Sr. came in with his hands all silvery-grey from working. "See, here's an alien," I teased. Marisa cracked up.

Julian washed off, picked up his youngest son and got in a little weightlifting with him. I'm worried about the guy. Things at his factory sound difficult--a new boss is cutting wages and raising hours. It may be time for the workers to rise up again out there.

Dawn's Hollandaise came out a bit thicker than the CIA's would have been, I think, but it was still mighty tasty. There were a few substitutions--hot sauce for cayenne pepper (easy), lime for lemon. Mexican Hollandaise. We had it with broccoli. Dawn gave her brother Joey a little on her finger to try. He tasted it, made a face and ran. "He's teasing me!" she complained.

Her big brother, Junior wouldn't even go there. "I'm OK," he said. I laughed at him.

All of us females over age 10 in the house chowed down on it, though.

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