Friday, January 28, 2011

From Curdled To Creamy... or How Julia Child Saved My Sandwich

From Curdled To Creamy: Saving a broken mayonnaise
I'm a mayo girl... I'm even a Mayo girl (heritage-ly speaking that is). I don't like dry sandwiches, and have to have a smear of mayo inside each slice of bread or I'm just not happy. 'Tis true. So when Hubs and I decided we couldn't finish off this roasted turkey without having a turkey sandwich or two... the wallet said, "If you want mayo on it, you'd better make it yourself!". And why not? It's just eggs and oil, a little mustard, salt and vinegar or lemon juice. We have all of that in our pantry and fridge at any given moment. Besides, I've made it before, it's a cinch...

Never Send A Blender To Do The Job Of A Food Processor.... I'll never stray again.
Not wanting to stray too far from the recipe/method I used before, I chose the Machine-Made Mayonnaise (page 363-364 of Julia Child's The Way To Cook [1989])... but I thought I'd use my new blender instead of the food processor. This soon proved a mistake. It began with the continuous fine spray of egg and oil out the center of the lid as I drizzled in the oil. And it ended with a blender full of separated mayonnaise-y liquid and a very disheartened girl whining about her cursed beginners luck.

The Epic Battle
I had a whole cup of olive oil in there–I was not going down without a fight. In the center of page 364 was a trouble-shooting section with explicit instructions for how to deal with a broken sauce. Julia states that "This always works..." and I was willing to believe her.

Per the instructions, I got out the hand-blender and got to it. After a while, I realized it just wasn't happening the way it should—the way Julia said it should. I took off the whisk attachment and inserted the regular beaters and started over...again. Third time's the charm; the mayo turned out thick and rich and delicious.

To The Victor Go The Dishes
Hubs came home and tasted it, agreed that it was yummy, but asked why it was so yellow. I explained that I had fought the Battle Of Mayonnaise which required the use of more mustard than you normally would use when making mayonnaise during peacetime. I regaled him with the gory details and then I showed him the battlefield and the graveyard. Herewith are the final grim statistics:

1 blender jar with 2-part lid 
4 bowls, assorted sizes
2 liquid measuring cups
5 measuring spoons 
2 rubber scrapers
1 hand-blender whisk attachment
2 hand-blender beaters
1 iced-tea spoon
1 small ladle
1 soup spoon 
1 whisk

As For The Sandwich That Started It All...
We made our sandwiches with this turkey, this cranberry sauce, this mustard, the mayo I made today, and this bread (sigh). I can't remember the last time either of us has had an honest-to-goodness old-fashioned turkey sandwich with all the fixings... life sure is good.
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