Now, now, before you hang me by my thumbs, that title is really not intended to sound quite as snarky as it might on the first fly-by. But, my friend, my mentor (in all things Paleo, for sure), my protege in 3D scrapbooking way-back-when, my wine lovin’ partner in crime has often challenged me to think outside of my own box. A few weeks back, she posted a blog about making homemade mayonnaise; apparently, homemade mayonnaise success had alluded her. But, persevere she did. And, finally, the sweet taste of victory (and Homemade Mayonnaise) was hers! And so, weeks later, I decicded to give it a go. She had worked out the kinks and now it was my turn to try.
But first, Homemade Mayonnaise? Why? You ask. Well, as most of my friends and family are now very much aware, back in mid-February, after dabbling my toes in the Paleo Pond for a few weeks, I jumped headfirst into the deep end of the Paleo Lifestyle. I’ve loved so much about this way of eating and living, but that is fodder for a different post. The bottom line here is that we Paleo-ites (or Palominos, as Mr. Fannie fondly likes to refer to us) avoid certain things like the plague; soy products are one of the leaders of the “no-no list.” From the research I have done, not only can soy be very “inflammatory” to our digestive systems, but, as research is showing more and more, soy is one of the crops that is becoming highly susceptible to questionable commercialized farming methods, including, but not limited to GMO’s. Ok, whoops, sorry…stepping backwards, ever so carefully off of my soap box. In any event, I’m avoiding soy and most, if not all, of the commercially prepared “bad” oils (corn, safflower, vegetable, etc.). Not a huge deal, but try finding mayonnaise that is not soybean or safflower oil based; not to mention the fact that many of the ingredients listed are not “normally found in nature.” (A funny side note…this is often the criteria I use at acceptable hair coloring…”is this color normally found in nature? No? Than, sorry, no, you can’t dye your hair that color.”) Not to mention the fact that I find great pleasure in knowing just exactly (or as close to exact as can reasonably be obtained) what ingredients I am putting into the foods I feed my family, friends and myself. And so, the desire for the Perfect Homemade Mayonnaise was fueled
As I said earlier, the challenge had been laid down; Fae did it! I can do it! I, too, can master the art of making Homemade Mayonaise.
Now, because Fae did such a great job of documenting how she mastered this art (take a look)
I’m not going to recreate the wheel here.
I AM going to re-affirm what she found out (that making Homemade Mayonnaise is really not hard, you just need to know the tricks of the trade), underscore some points she made and also provide a few little tips and techniques of my own. I’m also going to highlight some of the favorite little occupants of my kitchen gadget drawer.
First of all, ingredients. As Fae said throughout her post, make sure that all ingredients are room temperature. Believe me, as I have gleaned, and she has learned, this makes a difference between some gloppy sloppy mix of oil and egg and the wonderfully whirled, emulsified brilliance of mayonnaise (or as hoity toity chefs like to refer to it, “aioli”).
The other critical tip; the container in which to blend your ingredients. Yes. The Pyrex glass pitcher. This kitchen staple has stood the test of time!
And, finally, this is the key…none other than the immersion blender! If you do not have one of these gadgets sent from heaven AND you enjoy preparing soups, sauces and other dishes that are best whipped into a frenzy, put this on your Wish List! I did just that and, last Christmas, my son indulged me.
Now, to highlight some of the stars of my gadget drawer:
See those little brightly colored bowls? Those are little “pinch pots.” They are flexible acrylic/rubber and are awesome to use for your little “dibs and dabs” of measured ingredients. You will often see a clear glass version of these on many of the food shows; you know, the part of the program that they DON’T show you, the part where all of the little minions assigned to the “star” of the show run around and do all of the pre-measuring, chopping and whatnot. Yeah, I wish I had a minion. But I have my rubber pinch pots. I’m happy. I actually have two sets of these; one for the kitchen and one for the craft room. They are invaluable when trying to corral little beads, brads and whatnot.
Next up; my measuring teaspoon and tablespoon. As you can see, the “ring of spoons” has been replaced by just two spoons. One for a teaspoon (or fraction thereof) and one for a tablespoon (or fraction thereof). I believe that Pampered Chef was the first to market this design; it has a little sliding glide that can be moved along notches in the spoon to adjust the measuring device from anywhere between 1/8 tsp and 1 tsp. In the case of the tablespoon, the notches are at 1/2 tsp increments from 1/2 tsp to 1 tbsp. Now, if you had owned one of these previous designs from Pampered Chef, you know that they were plastic. I wasn’t a fan; the plastic glide didn’t always notch down into the notches as it should, and when I thought I’d be measuring 1/4 tsp, I’d find it had slipped somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2. In addition, the guide would allow liquid measured ingredients to “seep” under the guide, again, not allowing for an accurate measurement. And last but not least, that sneaky little guide had a way of slipping off the spoon, unseen, down into the garbage disposal. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Yeah, ask me how I know. Since then, I have found the metal version online and LOVE them.
Next up, my pampered chef liquid/solid measuring cup. Fae actually gave this to me eons ago. When you use the “solid” end, you pull the measuring “plunger” base down along the guide to the desired measurement, in effect, creating a “vessel” that now holds your desired measurement. Fill up your “vessel” and then “plunge” the base upward, plopping your solid ingredient out; think honey, peanut butter, hey…even homemade mayonaise!…anything that is gooey and tough to measure. Flipping it over, the other end of this ingenious gadget is your standard liquid measuring cup. Enough said. Except (you know me, it’s never “really” enough said) I have found that the smaller the diameter of your surface of measured liquid and the taller the measuring device, the more accurate of a measurement you will get. It has to do with the “fudge” factor. Think of it this way. You’ve got this two cup measuring device that is short and fat. You fill it up with water and then “eyeball” where the water surface is to the desired measured quantity. Try as you might, there is some fudge factor involved in your ability to eyeball exactly along the plane of that measurement. Now, take that same two cups and design it in a taller, narrower vessel and the surface area you are eyeballing along the measuring plane is significantly reduced. Therefore, you have cut down, proportionately, the effect of the fudge factor because you have cut down the surface you are trying to eyeball. Does that make sense?And so, this is why my Pampered Chef 2 cup measuring cup is my go-to for measuring liquids; it’s the taller, slender shape. Much like me. HA!
Ok…moving on then…
Now, apply that same concept to the cutest and newest of my gadgets! My beakers! See them up there at the top of the picture? They have a red, yellow or blue base. These are ingenious! They are used to measure very small amounts of liquids…from fractions of teaspoons to fractions of liquids. Never again will I try to not slop a teaspoon of vanilla from the bottle to my standard measuring teaspoon, filled to the brim, level of course, holding steady, and then…whew…made it to the dough bowl! Nope, just pour from the vanilla bottle into my beaker, along the measured line and then let that little baby just sit there on it’s sturdy little base until I’m ready to add it. This would be another great job for a minion, if I had one. These little darlings (the beakers, not minions) were given to me in my Christmas stocking this year by Mr. Fannie. And they weren’t even on my wish list! He found these on his own! What a guy!
Hmmm..what else can I show you while we’re here? Think. Think. Think. Oh! I know! How about this AWESOME little julienne peeler thingee that my friend Farie got for me! Again, as we try to change our eating ways, one of the things we have given up is pasta. But oh, what to do, what to do when you want your favorite spaghetti sauce or a bed for that luscious shrimp scampi. Why…zucchini to the rescue of course! Yes indeed…with this…
you can create this…
I admit, a bit of an inconsistency here; I actually used zucchini ANd yellow squash here. Anyway, an absolute must have staple in my fridge. Another side note; my dear son who has claimed to be “allergic” to squash since the age of eight actually has tried, and liked, the zucchini noodles.
Anyway, sorry, I went off-roading there for a minute. Back to the Homemade Mayonnaise. So, you have the recipe that Fae provided. You have all of your tools, some of which I reviewed, above. You have all of your ingredients, lovingly measured by you or your minions. And now, for a couple of “in progress pictures.” Oh, by the way, in addition to being my mentor of all things Paleo, she is also mentoring me on photography, schooling me in things like white balance. I’ve been practicing that as well, so indulge me with allowing me to share my photos…
This is the stage that Fae talks about where you want your ingredients to sit for a minute to allow the oil to rest on.
One of the things that Fae mentioned about the shelf-life of Homemade Mayonnaise is that it lasts a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. Another source I referred to suggested that it is fresh for as long as the egg that is used in it is fresh. Therefore, take note of the expiration date on your carton of eggs…
I found a standard pint sized jar to store my precious product. I made this little tag from “chalk” paper to note the expiration date. I’ll just wipe off the chalk and put the next expiration date when I make my next batch.
And there you have it…if Fae Can Do That…and Fannie Can Do That…surely YOU can do that…PLUS…I gave you some ideas for new “must have” gadgets in your kitchen. You’re welcome.