When I moved out from Colorado to California, Warren – he who should be king – sneaked in his favorite plant, a flowering clover that would test any green thumb with its finicky and sensitive nature.  Quickly in California we discovered that our delicate hothouse exotic was considered a common weed called oxalis or sour grass, and it’s the bane of every gardener.  I now spend hours in the garden carefully extracting this nuisance and its horrid seeds from the rich earth.

So you can imagine my surprise, while reading Point de Vue (an idiotic French weekly about the European royals and their social calendars, balls, gowns and jewels) I came upon an article titled “Oeufs Coque Mousseuse de Muscade Piqure d’Oxalis.  And there in the picture, was my little hated weed.  Zut alors, there is something you can do with this infernal weed and I am Queen of the Crop.  So, amuse-toi bien (go have a blast) and try this number that I’ve just finished translating, especially if you have oxalis in your backyard.  I’m going to check it out too.

Coddled Eggs with Nutmeg Mousse and a Shot of Oxalis – This is a 3 part recipe: preparing the yolks, making the cream and boiling an extract of oxalis.  Plan a good hour to test this thing.

4 eggs

8 grains of Salt from Guerande or grey French sea salt

½ grated nutmeg nut

2 ounces of vegetable bouillon

5 ounces of heavy cream

Salt & Pepper

50 stems and 15 leaves of Oxalis

DIRECTIONS

Preparing the Yolks

Decalotter (Nice word, means to take off the top) of the eggs with an egg topper (oh no, a new tool to buy)

Clarify and separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and reintroduce each yolk back to an egg shell

Heat the eggs (obviously with shells standing up) in a bain-marie for 3 minutes.  Water should not boil but should slowly cook the eggs.

When the yolks are lukewarm add Guerande salt to the  measuring cup of cream.  Now fill each egg with the cream (but leave a little space at the top).  Using a syringe filled with the oxalis and bouillon extract, pierce through the whipped cream and yolks and inject the extract of oxalis at the bottom of the shell filling the little opening that you’ve made. (Oh yes, this is definitely a recipe for beginners)

Preparing the Nutmeg Mousse

In a small pot, boil 1 ounce of the vegetable bouillon, take pot of off the fire and add the nutmeg. Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes. Mix and put it thru a coffee filter so all you get is the essence of the nutmeg.

Whip heavy cream until stiff, then add cream to nutmeg essence and salt & pepper to taste.  Put it in a pastry bag  in the refrigerator.

Extract of Oxalis

Boil the remaining ounce of bouillon, add the 50 stems and 15 leaves of oxalis, couple pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Cover and heat for a minute, then mix well and filter (coffee filter once again unless you have a fine sieve).  Fill the syringe and follow the instructions on the last paragraph of Preparing the Yolks section.

That’s it.  All that work for 4 eggs, you’ve got to be crazy.  On the other hands, what a great use for the oxalis.

gratersI know, it’s two days before the incredible Turkey Day, and my mind is on pedicures, (really).  Not just pedicures, but that little egg grater call Ped EggTM has been looming on my mind.  The Ped Egg was initially developed to file away heavy skin of heels and toes.  In the genetic pool, I’ve seem to inherit nasty, thick, rapid growing calluses on my feet.  Now that is more information than you need to know.

The good thing out of this is that I’ve tried every product to remove the calluses and finally found a little file/grater called Ped-Egg which does a wonder job getting rid of my nasty little problem.  Watching my daughter trying to grate a small portion of parmesan cheese and making a mess, I realized that Ped Egg would be perfect.  It is also perfect for garlic, nutmeg, citrus, almost any substance that you need to grate small amounts and easily capture.  The only thing to beware is that Ped Egg is mostly from plastic which will keep that wonderful garlic smell forever.  So buy yourself several Ped Eggs and go experiment.  Luckily they come in 3 colors; pink, light blue and white.

Talk about grating, when I need large amounts of finely grated items, my first choice is my mother’s french cheese grater.  Truly a bizarre contraption, it quickly grates chucks of cheese, nuts and other foods.  The only problem is that it takes up to much room in my small kitchen, which is why it is still at my mother’s house.  I love the Microplane TM rasp for quick, medium size jobs but have been disappointed with their small rasp (it’s in the photo along with the large rasp) – I can’t seem to make it work as well as their large rasps.  But for a fine tiny job, the Ped Egg is wonderful .

Enough about graters and rasps.  Let’s talk about food, and a great cranberry recipe.  Here is one of my favorites.  Every year I buy a large bag of cranberries and make a huge pot of the this recipe.   Cranberry sauce freezes well, so put most of it in plastic containers and freeze for another day.  However if you are DESPERATE, Trader Joe’s makes a good cranberry sauce that isn’t too sugary sweet.

Madeira Cranberry Orange Relish

You can experiment and try using Chardonnay or a Merlot wine instead of the Madeira.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound washed cranberries

2 cups of sugar

½ cup of good Madeira

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

½ cup of orange juice

1/4 cup of finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large heavy pot combine all the ingredients except the nuts.  Cook until the cranberries pop open (approximately 10 minutes).  Skim the foam.  Cool down

2.  Serve the relish in a lovely dish and garnish with the nuts.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday.  Don’t forget to use your SaladSuccess Salad Dressing Shaker and eat lots of wonderful salads.