By Lydia Jones
It seems like every few weeks I am forced to reflect on how cool my mom is.
A few weeks ago on Town Day (a bi-weekly holiday on the farm), I stood in the grocery store looking at a jar of mayonnaise. I blinked at the label, trying to decipher "calcium disodium EDTA" and puzzling over what these "natural flavors" were. The label proudly announced that this mayonnaise was made with Real Eggs... should we worry about the fact they have to tell us that?
I thought back to the thick, gloppy, pale stuff in the gallon jars we used to serve in the camp kitchen I worked at when I was 14. Yeah, this looked a lot like that. I thought of the poor kids I thoughtlessly served that to, and then I thought of my childhood, and of course that led me to my mom.
She used to make her own mayonnaise and I thought she was the weirdest mom ever. I didn't want to eat it because it didn't come from the store and it had raw eggs in it. It's just like how I thought she was nuts for making her own yogurt and granola, that the mother in her homemade vinegar looked disgusting and terrifying, and how I wouldn't eat her sauerkraut because I had had it before (from a can), and Yuck.
Of course I didn't appreciate it then, but now I am so grateful for the folks like her who have preserved foodcraft through the industrialization. Now as I dive deeper into homesteading culture, I see it's a slippery slope when you realize that for centuries and more people used to make their own personalized versions of many of the things we now consider store-bought staples. Sometimes when you experience the homemade versions of these foods they are unrecognizable next to their colorless, homogenized, mass-produced, chemically-altered and artificially preserved modern counterparts. Look out- the homemade world is diverse and delicious and there may be no turning back.
I didn't try homemade mayonnaise again until I started dating Emlyn, and it has played a substantial role in our marriage from the beginning. We ate it every day on our honeymoon with cucumber sandwiches. Our first fight was because one of us had forgotten to bring the mayonnaise. Anyway, we love it. Maybe a little too much.
Here's Emlyn's recipe.
2 Eggs, room temp (Pastured eggs are best, unsurprisingly...)
3 tsp Ground Mustard
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (Hey, you can make your own!)
1 tsp Salt
Pepper (to taste)
2-3 cloves Garlic
2 cups Oil (a light oil like sunflower for a milder taste, or olive oil for a more distinct flavor)
In a blender (or quart jar with a blending stick- we've had better luck with that), mix together everything but the oil. While blending, gradually (and patiently!) add the oil in a steady dribble. Mixture should thicken into a smooth spread. If it doesn't... eh, try a different blending tool! ;)