I'm home! and mayonnaise


mayonnaise
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Tuesday night I had reached my limit and we fled to a friend's house for relief until our power was restored on Thursday I'd tried to be really diligent about keeping the house picked up and clean while we were here, but really, it is a disaster area. I spent Thursday cleaning up, running the dishwasher and multiple loads of laundry, wiping up spills and wiping down the inside of the fridge. We went to our local produce store to get milk, a new loaf of bread, and those first tempting tomatoes.

Once home, craving a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, I thought about my jar of mayonnaise that had gotten warm, cooled down, gotten warm, cooled down, and thought better of it. I use a really good mayo (Duke's is actually all I will use when it comes to commercial mayo, and it is a southern thing, like community coffee, which I used to have college friends from Louisiana bring to NC on breaks), but I started thinking about the mayonnaise I used to make, and how it had a shelf life of perhaps a week and a half, and why was I expecting a jar of the commercial stuff to last for more than a month? Yes, it is pasturized and heat processed, but it left me thinking. So I pulled out the blender, rice vinegar, two eggs*, and 3/4 cup of olive oil.

The recipe is simple- you can use a hand-mixer, a whisk (lord help you), a food processor, or a blender. Take two eggs, break them, and mix them with 1/2 tsp salt, a dash of dry mustard (I didn't) and 1 tsp lemon juice, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. I mixed this for about a minute on high in my blender. Slowly slowly add about 1/3 of your oil (I used straight olive, but next time I'll add in half safflower oil) in the thinnest stream- or drop by drop. I was reminded that if you use a food processor, there's a hole in the "food pusher" thing that will dispense the oil in a thin stream- that's why the hole is there. I used my blender and did it manually. You'll notice that the consistency will change after you've added half the oil. Towards the end, the sound of the processing changes noticeably and you'll know you're about finished.

After you first make mayonnaise, it will be a little thin, but taste it, and add more lemon juice/ vinegar and salt to taste. Mine completely filled an old Bonne Maman jelly jar. After refrigerating overnight, it has thickened considerably. The color is golden, not white, like commercial mayonnaise. Mine also has a distinctive olive oil flavor. I think I'll use most of it for a roasted potato salad and to go with grilled veggies and a steak for my local meal this week. I also use mayonnaise in my favorite ranch dressing/dip, so that should take care of the rest of it. It should keep a little over a week, but I think I'll make half a recipe next time.

I'm looking forward to getting back on the wheel today. I've made no pottery for the last two weeks and am itching to get back to it.
I'm so grateful to be home, have my power restored, and for all of your kind comments, thoughts, and prayers last week. Thank you for your friendship.

I hope your weekend is beautiful!
*My egg man was at the farmers market last Saturday and told me that because they didn't "scrub the eggs to death," they would be fine for a week without refrigeration, so I put them in a lidded container and stuck them in the basement, which is always cooler (it felt like 20 degrees!) than the rest of the house.