Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mayo makes my arm hurt.

1,056 calories.

No, that's not how many calories you'd gain from eating a bowl of mayonnaise, it's how many you'd burn from MAKING one. It's a bastard of a thing to whisk up, but well worth just how much it's going to make you want to throw it against the wall and never talk to it again. 

Homemade mayo is one of those things that, in the end, is as essential as someone who loves you. Sure, you'll want to scream at it from time to time due to all the pain it puts you through, but in the end it's irreplaceable and appears out of nowhere to help make your life better. Kind of makes sense for Mother's Day in a weird, wobbly sort of way. 

Once you make your own, you'll never want to go back to buying the weird, mysterious chemical goop that passes for mayo on store shelves. 

Here's what you'll need to demystify mayo:

One egg yolk
Juice of one lemon
One cup of oil (dealer's choice.)
One teaspoon ground mustard
Light sprinkle of salt

Medium bowl
Dispenser bottle (optional)

Pretty much, just remember this recipe by the fact that it is all ones. One yolk, one cup, one lemon, one teaspoon. Super simple. 

The first step to making mayo is about the only easy one to it. Put your egg, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in the bowl. 

Whisk them together until it's all foamy. Don't worry-the foam is how you know everything's properly integrated. 

If you have a dispenser bottle (and I really recommend that you use one), load up your cup of oil into that dream machine and get ready for the long battle ahead of you. 

This part is important.

Before you get all gung ho and start pouring that oil in there, you MUST know the basics of making a successful emulsion. 

The MOST important thing is start with one drop. One single drop. Why? Think of it like that one person you know that had to slowly wear on you. If they'd spent all day every day with you since the moment you met them, you'd probably just go right ahead and knock out all their teeth sometime around the third or fourth hour of them pronouncing your name wrong and rubbing the snot from their nose all over your newly upholstered furniture. But if they'd taken the time to introduce themselves slowly before asking you to let them move in, you wouldn't suddenly be looking for someone to front the bail incurred by your unexpected assault charges. 

You really need to romance the mayo. 

So, like I said...one single drop. And then a single drop more. And a single drop more. All the while, whisking like crazy and praying to the mighty mayo lord that all your efforts won't be in vain. 

Somewhere around the 30th drop, the foam will almost completely disappear. 

Around the 60th drop of oil, the foam should all be completely gone, and you should start to notice a slight glossiness every time you add a new drop. 

Right about the time you've gotten so tired and so pissed of and your arm is in so much pain that you no longer want to be attached to it...something interesting starts to happen. ...it starts to work! Despite all logic, adding a liquid to another liquid has suddenly started to thicken, and become closer to a solid!  

And it's about time, too, because this is the "throw the bowl against the wall" portion of the program I was talking about earlier. Good news! You are no longer restricted to single dots at a time! You may now incorporate two or three dots at a time!

And once it just very nearly starts to be able to make extremely soft peaks on it's own? You can very nearly add the oil in a light stream! Keep going! You're almost there!

Ah, sweet relief. When you hear that final, gasping wheeze of the bottle as it releases that last little ounce of that gorram oil...you're finally finished! Wipe the river of sweat from your brow and put this stuff to use!

Now of course, if you're a smart person and have $8, you'll save yourself all the misery and pain and just buy a basic electric hand mixer from your local big box store. But come on...how much more impressive is it to say you whisked up this mayo by hand?

See you tomorrow, you beefcake you. 
<3 Kat. 

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