Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Emulsify! – 37

You know my life is strange when I’m happy about emulsification.

All work and no play makes Sharon a very angsty mess, so I decided to take on a challenge (isn’t that what EVERYONE does when they are feeling stressed and angsty??) to master the art of home-made mayonnaise.

Image credit
Image credit

I know, I know… don’t have a fainting spell. It’s actually easier than I thought it would be.

This morning I had an epic mayo fail. I spent about a half hour assembling ingredients, monitoring my blender and pouring in olive oil at a painfully slow pace. Still, the emulsification gods were not pleased with my efforts and what I got was a gloopy mess of smelly olive oil and egg mixture. Um. Ew. AND, I wasn’t clever enough to take a photo of said fail so you could share in my disappointment! I did put it in a zip lock baggie before I pitched it in the garbage, though. There, it can fester into some kind of toxic goo, only to be eventually absorbed back into the graceful arms of mother nature in about 6 bamillion (like my new word?) years, or whenever plastic actually breaks down. Good going, Sharon. Shall we label this a double fail?

So, I did a little research and found a few blogs and a video that let me know where I’d gone wrong. I marched my fanny off to the store and got the proper ingredients and with a determined jut of my chin, I decided I’d try it again. This time, however, I mixed myself some liquid courage first. Fondly known as Geezus Juice, I put ice in a cup, added one shot of Huckleberry Vodka, 2 Tablespoons of Lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of Cranberry concentrate, followed by a dropper full of liquid Lemon Stevia and some water. I stirred it up, put in my straw and took a long swig, and was ready to try my mayo again.

What I learned was that for proper emulsification to occur, you must have two main ingredients.

1. Everything must be clean and at room temperature.

2. You need patience. (This is where the Geezus Juice came in for me!)

Homemade Mayo-

1 large egg – room temp

1 large egg yolk – room temp

1 t. ground mustard

4 T lemon juice – room temp

1 cup olive oil (NOT EXTRA VIRGIN – get the light stuff) – room temp

Salt, pepper or other interesting herbs and spices as desired. I bought some chipotle to try later!

In a clean blender, food processor or a canning jar using a stick blender, combine the egg and the egg yolk. Add the lemon juice and let them get cozy for 20 minutes to an hour. (Long enough for them to be room temperature)

Once they are happy with each other and their surroundings, blend them up for 30 seconds or so. Then add your salt, mustard and spices and blend again for 30 seconds.

Next- there is some debate here… some say add 1/2 cup of your oil, others say 1/4 and still others say only a few teaspoons at first. Deciding to err on the side of caution, I started with 3 tsp. of oil and let that blend up for a few minutes.

Finally, and here is where the patience comes in, I started pouring in the rest of the cup of oil. You have to make it the smallest, slowest stream of oil you can possibly imagine. Just above a drop at a time. I was using a stick blender in a canning jar and my poor stick blender was so hot by the time I was done pouring (it took 6 minutes) I thought it might be toast! But by the time the last little drop of oil went in, things had thickened up (emulsified) and I was a happy camper!!

I capped the mayo, added an expiration date (that’s the same as the expiration on your eggs) and put it in the fridge to finish up it’s thickening process.

Voila!! Which is appropriate since mayonnaise is a French creation and I’m off to Paris in T- 37 days!

I know it’s kinda silly, but I’m happy it worked. By the way, should you try this at home, boys and girls, and emulsification eludes you, save the stuff you spent all that time blending. As long as you used a light olive oil, you can add spices and herbs and use it as a thin dressing on salads or a dip for veggies!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Hi-ho Pa-leo

If you ever lived in the Baltimore region, you would have heard the commercial that goes, “Hi – Ho – Pim-li-co!” for Pimlico Raceway. This is totally irrelevant to my post, but does kinda explain my silliness in the title.

Went to the doctor the other day and he told me to put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up. And be sure there isn’t any sugar in that. He also suggested I stay away from grains and dairy. Hmmm.. meat, veggies and fruit. >smirks< That’s where I’ve directed my diet now for a while, but it took the cautionary warning from my Dr. to convince me I should perhaps adhere to eating the stuff my bod seems to like.

But can you blame me?! Like any other person, I love warm bread with hot gooey melting butter.

Many moon ago, I lost weight on the Atkins plan, so in looking around for some guidance, I hit on the Paleo, or Neanderthin, or Caveman or whatever you want to call it, lifestyle. Since I’m lactose intolerant, giving up dairy wasn’t so difficult. (except butter… omg, do I love butter) Giving up grains has been a bit more trying, but easily do-able. Eliminating sugar hasn’t been too bad either. What is difficult is increasing my fruit consumption. I like mostly berries, but I don’t eat many of those even when they are available, so they sometimes become furry in the fridge. Ewww… And I’d rather gnaw on meat than a plate of veggies.

I guess it’s obvious that I am pretty easily a modern-day carnivore. I say modern-day because if  *I* had to hunt it (aww poor thing) or skin it (barf) or slaughter it (barf and faint) or fish for it (omg NO) then I’d be a vegetarian.

So far, so good. I’ll keep you posted if anything significant comes from all this change, other than some gurgling guts, fatigue and ennui, which is all supposedly normal when you are eliminating most of the carbohydrates from your diet. At least I haven’t killed anyone. Or leaped over the counter to grab the soft, chewy bread slathered in butter from their hands, just before they take a bite, screaming, “I’ll save you!! Don’t you know this is bad for you?” and shoving the thing in my mouth. Or stolen candy from a baby.

I’m saving all of those for later… when I might need them.