I enjoy my job but I am stuck in an office all day and can’t see the sky. Straight out the window at the far end of the office, I see shops on the other side of a very busy road.
At my last job, in order to get some exercise, I used to walk every day for an hour around the boats in the nearby marina, breathing in the fresh sea air. That job was stressful beyond words and I used to take that walk in rain, sun or snow (actually it doesn’t snow here but that sounded good) to get away from the place.
Then I injured my knee and was told that walking was now my enemy (doctor’s words) but to use an exercycle five days a week for 30 minutes, which I did at home after work. The exercycle is inside, in a dark room where I need to turn on the light. So during the day, I used to go and sit by the marina for an hour to get my vitamin D and stare at the boats and dream of sailing off to far lands.
In my present job, I don’t have the same urge to escape and so I have to push myself to do so. We have summer here now and the sun is bestowing upon us the grace of her warmth and the days are pleasant. So a few weeks back I started walking again, but we are on a very busy road (read car fumes) and on a ridge so any time I venture down a side road, I start to go steeply downhill with the knowledge that I have to get back up that hill and that perhaps my knee is not up to that quite yet. So I keep straight on along this horrible, noisy road breathing in carbon monoxide and wishing I was back at the marina.
Yesterday, I read something about being more mindful in our lives so, while I was walking, I consciously noticed everything around me. And I saw this gate to my right with Wairua Reserve written on it. Now in our language a reserve means green grass, so I veered off the straight and true and walked through the gate and entered Paradise.
Paradise is relative of course. This area of grass was not freshly mowed nor bordered by neatly kept flower beds. In fact the grass hadn’t been cut in some time and the only flowers were growing wild in the grass – weeds they are called. I picked a bunch as I walked along trying to avoid the bees who found this a minefield for their pollen collecting activities and took the weeds back to the office. Others might not appreciate a bunch of weeds in a glass of water on a desk but they were priceless to me – a symbol of Paradise found.
But, back to my discovery. As I walked further into the reserve, the traffic noise fading behind me, a weight slid off my shoulders and I paused beneath the massive pines in the shade and drank in the ozone, remembering my childhood spent on a farm where I took such things for granted. Not another soul was using this small wilderness so I walked from one end to the other and then side to side, collecting weeds all the way.
Then I saw another section down a slope and up the other side and there stood a shabby kind of children’s playground but no kids. I ventured over and, glancing this way and that to make sure no one was watching, I sat down on a black rubber swing. At first, I just sat there wondering how it worked – it has been some time since I played on swings alongside my small son. Then my body leaned back and I soared the swing into the air as if I had been using a swing all my life. It felt exhilarating and a little wild. I spied a flying fox off to the side and slowed the swing and went to investigate. Fortunately, common sense overtook my euphoria and I didn’t actually jump on it to go sliding along to perhaps my death. I went and swung a little longer on the black rubber seat before wandering back the way I had come to the main road, still with not a soul in sight.
I arrived back in my office, feeling carefree, a hippy all over again. Then I saw a reflection in the mirror of my white trousers. The back where I had been sitting on the swing was black. Not even grey, but black! I had just walked all the way back through the town with a black backside without a care in the world. I guess ignorance is indeed bliss. And I had to stay in my soiled trousers the rest of the day, keeping my derriere angled away from the public eye.
But no one could take away my glimpse of Paradise.
None of that has anything to do with today’s recipe but I felt compelled to tell the story – who knows why.
For this nutritious and grain-free dish, I used the idea from a recipe at Fueling Endurance Performance and added a hollandaise sauce of my own. This is a rich and very filling and totally delicious dish. It gives you a hit of Omega 3, is high in protein and has the oil and goodness from the avocado. Adriano had a bun under his two (Dario is away) and even he said that he was full after two of them. My one, minus bun, was extremely filling.
This is NOT a low Fodmap recipe.
I do the same at work. I sit at a desk all day and while I sit next to the window, I don’t get to enjoy nature. Being an active person like I am, it drives me nuts. I take a 45 min walk at lunch time everyday so that I get to get away from my desk. I normally pop on my headphones and just try to enjoy everything and anything I see. So glad someone else understands how important it is to stop and watch the world sometimes.
Your eggs look amazing! I have eggs for breakfast this am, yours look great!
I will have to keep telling myself to stop and watch the world until it becomes a habit. I do wonder if the headphones are isolating you from the auditory sensations around you. Though it wouldn’t be a silly idea on the busy road where I walk. Anything is better than the traffic noise. I hope you at least enjoy your work while you are there.
So you did find your little place of Camelot: smile and enjoy! By the bye: the official definition of a weed is; ‘a plant you do not want’: but you wanted those and brought your walk to the office and that gave you more than just Vit D 🙂 ! Absolutely love the look, and would love the taste too, of your version of ‘ benedict ’cause have never had it with a salmon cake instead of bun! Would kind’of use up my week’s ration of eggs but think I could bear that ‘sacrifice’!
Yes, I did find my Camelot – my favourite movie when I was still living on the farm. I used to sing the song to the sheep in the fields because no one else in the family would let me sing near them.
You are right, they weren’t weeds to me.
Believe me the sacrifice would be well worth it. I loved the dish.
🙂 ! For both you and me . . . . .
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says
“I live in New Zealand in a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean” and suddenly, I don’t feel so back about your sky-less office view – LOL. Lovely eggs Benedict Suzanne – this dressed up version really elevates the classic to a whole new level. I see you’ve made some nice changes to the look of your blog… styling touches and a new look for the recipe instructions – very fun!
LOL. Kelly, you got me! You are quite right – we have to be grateful for what we have and I am getting better at that.
Thanks, I am loving the simple look of my blog with no side columns. The recipe instructions will sometimes be fanciful and sometimes conventional. It’ll depend on the time I have available.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a decadent breakfast, your hollandaise looks divine!
We actually ate this for dinner and it was very filling.
Great pictures! And quite a nice recipe. My wife and I walk at least an hour a day, plus we have an exercise room with a treadmill and stationary bike that we also use. I go crazy if I can’t exercise! Nice post, although I’m sorry about your white pants!
I think exercise is key to everything. If you move a lot then you can eat well without having to worry too much about calories. I have washed the trousers but they are not quite clean yet. I will have to try something stronger next time.
Hotly Spiced says
When I worked in the city I used to love getting out of the air-conditioned office where I sat on the 26th floor and heading into the sunshine and walking over to the Botanical Gardens and eating my lunch on my own in peace. It was always so difficult to drag myself back to work but that hour or so was very therapeutic. Shame about your pants! Love the look of your eggs benedict – love the sauce falling around the dish – so appetising xx
The Botanical Gardens would be lovely. It’s all about getting out in Nature for a bit to restore our natural energy. My pants are going to need a bit more loving care – they didn’t come clean in the washing machine, even with stain remover.
I love the pull of childhood and carefree-ness that you surrendered to Suzanne . . . if I could have joined you on the swings, swinging high up into the air, I would have joined you with joy! Thank you for such a wonderful post and yes, this salmon eggs benedict is awesome. Eggs and salmon? Nothing else is necessary!
Roz, I had the moment of carefreeness and then paid for it with dirty pants. Ironic really. But it was joyful.
Angela @ My Golden Pear says
Oh you did make me laugh with this story. Every woman’s worst nightmare. I love eggs benedict and yours look fabulous.
And now to get the pants clean again – easier said than done.
Sandra's Easy Cooking says
I am staring at your photos…wow, beautifully made and so delicious with the dressing! i would love this any time of the day! Awesome post!
Thanks so much, Sandra. It could be a good breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Chantelle Nunez says
DIVINE! I made this for brunch today – what an amazing combination of yumness! SO satisfying for my taste-buds and my belly. Thanks for another FAB recipe! (The cumin in the salmon cakes was the perfect amount for me, too!)
My sauce doesn’t get thick. I’ve made it twice and it only thickens when the butter solidifies. What am I doing wrong?
Suzanne Perazzini says
I Googled the answer for you because I have never had that problem. This is what it says: Egg yolks will readily absorb a certain quantity of butter when it is fed to them gradually, giving them time to incorporate each addition before another is presented. When too much is added at a time, particularly at first, the sauce will not thicken. And if the total amount of butter is more than the yolks can absorb, the sauce will curdle. About 3 ounces of butter is the usual maximum amount per yolk. But if you have never made hollandaise before, it is safer not to go over 2 ounces or ¼ cup.
I hope that helps.
I can’t properly tell you how much I appreciated your story at the begnning of this recipe. At first I thought it would lead to how this recipe came to be, but it was absolutely perfect in and of itself and somehow completely fitting to the recipe. Our hearts truly do long for Eden. God bless.
Suzanne Perazzini says
Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. Fortunately, I have left that office and all offices and now work online so can travel and move about at will. Life is very different now.
Oh Suzanne, words cannot describe the joy and the ache in my heart at hearing that. Joy for you for being set free of the cubicle shackles and for being able to “move about at will” and poignant ache because that is my dream as well and as yet, I am still stuck inside The Room With No Windows. God bless you on your journey, lady.
Suzanne Perazzini says
Jennifer, there is always a way out. I have another blog that documents how I did it. Perhaps you would like to take a look: http://www.the-changing.com