So now, onto my next first. Despite many domestic skills, there are three things I have immense difficulty with. I don't like to admit it to myself (as I'm not one to admit I can't do something), but it's getting to a point now where it cannot be avoided. So, here we go. As of yesterday, I could not (1) grow a surviving rosemary plant, (2) grow a healthy lemon tree, and, (3) make mayonnaise. Two of these three still stand as I write the post.
With three failed rosemary bushes (or should I say twigs), one failed and one failing lemon tree, and five failed batches of mayonnaise under my belt, I was beginning to feel disheartened. I mean, rosemary grows itself, for goodness sake! There was a bush the size of my backyard, in the middle of the motorway, growing away happily, yet my lovingly tended stalks promptly wither and die at the mere sight of me.
While it is not currently the weather for cultivating rosemary, and the lemon tree (attempt number two) is a work in progress, I decided to tackle number three on my list yesterday. I have managed to blame a number of different reasons for my failed mayonnaise in the past: the oil, the size of the eggs, the recipe, and my impatience at adding afore mentioned oil, have all contributed to my issues. After an extended discussion with my little brother (a chef, almost) the other night, he informed me of the chemistry behind mayonnaise. I won't pretend I know what I'm talking about, as science is most definitely not one of my skills, but it involved the amount of protein in an egg and it's ability to emulsify the quantity of oil added. Most recipes I have used (and failed with) in the past, required 2-3 eggs (either whole or yolks) and around 2 cups of oil. Little Brother tells me this is far too much, I should be aiming for three times as much oil as egg. If an egg yolk is approximately a tablespoon, then around 3 tablespoons of oil per egg yolk should work about right. So, armed with this new knowledge, and no time constraints (to allow for very gradual oil addition), I aimed for sixth-time-lucky mayonnaise.
After a lot of hoping and wishing, and sweet-talking all ingredients before they entered the blender- success! I had done it! While the recipe needs a bit of work (it may be a little tangy for those who don't adore mustard and vinegar with quite the vigor I do), I am proud to announce another first- my successful emulsion of egg and oil!
Waiting to be eaten, with homemade wholegrain bread and homegrown spinach and fennel leaves.
Now that I have had success, and restored my ego slightly, I will work on perfecting the recipe- to be posted at a later date.
So there we have it, a first post, and a first mayonnaise success. That wasn't so hard after all...