Madness, mayhem and mayonnaise

So, that broccoli salad I was going to make last night? It took me an HOUR AND A HALF to make. There was a time when I considered myself to be efficient in the kitchen. I could whip up anything, no recipe could possibly intimidate me. But then this thing happened where I started reading a lot of nutritional discoveries, and decided it would be a Good Idea to avoid soy products as much as possible. So I make our mayonnaise now. No more Hellmann’s, which is sad because it’s delicious. But for some reason I can’t explain, I have had the WORST time getting my mayo to emulsify the last several times I’ve made it. It used to be a cinch; I had the recipe memorized and in a matter of two minutes I’d have a fresh batch whipped up. But last night was one of those nights where the mayo gods were against me and I was afraid for my hair (I might pull it out, you see,). Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally I figured out that the egg yolks left over from making angel food cake for Easter dinner were Not Happy Yolks, and started with a fresh yolk and that made all the difference. Fortunately with mayo, once you get it started properly, all the eggs and oil you’ve messed up earlier will incorporate, no problem, so the whole lot was saved. At 10 pm I staggered to bed in disbelief that I had JUST finished making the salad. And then I went and shared it with my co-workers today – what was I THINKING? I’m pretty sure I should have horded it all to myself after the trouble I went through.

I’m not going to put up a recipe for mayonnaise… there are oodles all over the internet, just google it. Besides, I’m apparently not an expert at making it. I do, however, stick to it until I get good results. And don’t let anyone tell you home-made mayo will end up runny, they are WRONG. See?The yellowish color is because I used farm-fresh eggs from a guy up the road, and the yolks are practically orange.

IMG_2704If you do decide to try homemade mayo (It really is easy… I don’t mean to scare you off. Just small things can make it go wrong, but once that’s ironed out it’s easy and worth it.) don’t expect the flavor to be the same as Hallmann’s. It’s made with soybean oil. I assume yours would not be. And what I’ve come to realize is that a great part of the flavor is soybean oil flavor. I don’t know why that came as a surprise to me, but it did. So if you make it with light olive oil, as I do, it will taste mostly like light olive oil. Or you can use grapeseed oil, or avocado oil… and it will, well, taste like those oils. Go figure.


Of Egg Whites


Eggs in baking can sometimes be problematic. Angel food cake wants whites only, but you hate to waste the yolks. Occasionally, you may be cooking lemon curd or a custard that only wants the yolks. Many of us succumb to making too many baked products and puddings at once to use up everything and then have the delightful problem of too many sweets in the house. I haven’t found a solution for what to do when you have extra yolks, but with extra whites, I learned you can freeze them.

Line a drinking glass or jar with a freezer ziplock bag and crack the egg into it, capturing the yolk you need in the shell, of course.

Label with how many yolks there are and pop the bag into the freezer. To quickly thaw them, put the baggy in a bowl or very warm water, careful that it’s not so hot it will begin cooking them. They whip up perfectly into stiff peak, or whatever state you need them in. Several times I’ve found I had just the right number of whites in the freezer and didn’t have to crack any eggs or waste any yolks just to make waffles or my mom’s special tapioca pudding, etc.


Fried Green Tomatoes?

Okay you foodie-writers out there… pretend you are describing friend green tomatoes to someone who has never tasted them, and can’t imagine what they are like. Well alright, don’t pretend. Do it for real.

You see, I’ve never tried them. I don’t like plain tomato, so they intimidate me. I’m sure they must taste quite different, not being ripe and all that… and being fried. But I’m not very adventuresome when it comes to vegetables. In recent times I’ve come to appreciate snow peas, cauliflower and red bell peppers as long as they are mixed with other things and well seasoned. Yeah, I was one of those kids.

So. I was helping customers pick out tomato plants today, and one of the was talking about how he couldn’t wait for fried green tomatoes. Which got me wondering. Do they taste tomato-ey? Savory? Sweet-ish? Mushy? Wet? Dry? Crispy? Tangy? DO THEY TASTE GREEN?? Someone tell me, please!