Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sewing Machine is broke...but my shoulder is still working.

My sewing machine broke last Saturday as Laurel and I were just starting to make our new fabric flowers. I was hoping to finalize my flower design...instead we got through about 3 stitches. I've taken it apart and put it back together several no avail. I'll keep working in it, but I haven't had a chance to get back to it. I haven't had a chance to do much. Jon's been out of town the last two weeks (in and out) leaving me with the kids, a job and school. So we've seen very little of the house, done very little cooking, crafting, or anything else. So when we were all home yesterday I just figured we'd have a nice slow in-home day. First I cooked breakfast for everyone and we hung out. Kids played, Jon worked on taxes and I cleaned and read. When lunch rolled around I decided I wanted to make egg salad sandwiches. This isn't something I ever make...except maybe with leftover easter eggs. But I think between reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle...and thinking about next year when we'll hopefully have our own eggs from our own chickens...I was imagining that the grocery store eggs were really our own free-range eggs. So the idea of my egg salad was part of a bigger imagining about our soon-to-be new life. So I boiled the eggs. Then I realized...we aren't mayo people. The only time mayo might be purchased is when my in laws come in town. And I didn't have anything closely related to ranch dressing, no sour cream, not even plain yogurt. Nothing. But then I remembered my Aunt Yvonne once talking about how she always made her own mayo when she made potato salad. (And I remember my mother saying she was crazy) My mom has always given the distinct impression that making piec crust and mayo were difficult-to-impossible endevours that almost always failed. So for years I refused to make a pie crust. It was until I started grinding my own wheat that I came up with my tried-and-true short crust recipe and never looked back. So it stood to reason that while my mom hated the idea of making mayo, that I might actually like it. Since Jon was on the computer (blocking the quickest route to the online recipe world) I did it the old fashioned way...I poured through the indexes of my cookbook collection until I found a recipe for mayo. I vaguely remembered eggs, oil and vinegar. In fact my recipe called for eggs, olive oil, dijon mustard and lemon juice. Thankfully I had all those on hand, and oddly just enough to make this recipe...after which I was out of all four ingredients. It was fate.
I started the food processor route, but as I streamed in the oil I realized there wasn't enough in the bowl of the large food processor to do anything. Then I started to panic...I had heard if it didn't start to never would. Warnings slowly at first, and then as it starts to thicken you can add more oil...made me think my mayo was doomed and my family would have to eat just hard boiled egg sandwiches...yuck. I quickly transferred it to a bowl and began to whisk. It was creamy and yellow at first, but I continued to whisk and whisk and stream just a little oil at a time. After a few minutes I realized my shoulder was about to fall off and I still had the majority of the oil to add. The pain was so intense I was laughing, which made my daughter start laughing too (she was busy peeling the eggs)...eventually that caused Jon to walk in to see what was going on. THANK GOODNESS. Men aren't just good for opening pickle jars...they're well suited for whisking mayo too. He took it to an almost militaristic level, barking to add more and more oil as it got thicker and more mayo-y. It became his personal challenge to whisk that mayo into shape. He was successful, the mayo came together, Laurel stirred it into her peeled and chopped eggs. Then we served it up and ate. It was the most satisfying sandwich we ever ate. The funny thing is, I've never made it for my kids before. We've never even spoken of such a thing as egg salad...but because Laurel (my pickier eater) was a part of the whole project she didn't even question whether she'd like it...she ate it happily and was as impressed with herself as I was with her.

Garlic Mayo

2 egg yolks
1 t dijon mustard
1 t lemon juice
3/4 C Olive Oil

Whisk egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Add the oil 1 tsp at a time until it starts to thicken. (In my estimatation it means you whisk until your shoulder burns so bad you have to beg your husband to take over) As it thickens you can add the oil more quickly. Once it's done you can add salt and pepper to taste. I also grated in 3 garlic cloves (WAY too much), though had they been roasted cloves it probably would have been fine. If going the raw route I'd stop at one clove.

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