If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a foodie. I love everything about food; where it's grown, how it's grown, the history of regional favorites, nutrition, and especially HOW TO MAKE STUFF!
Starting this Friday, March 1st, I'm doing a Whole30 challenge. Whole30 is a dietary approach based on a paleolithic framework. The Whole30 Challenge is a kind of cleanse to reset your metabolism, flush your system of toxins, and discover what food(s) may be to blame for some of your "not so good" feelings (bloating, gas, chronic inflammation, headaches, constipation/diarrhea, fatigue... you get the idea). I am doing the Whole30 Challenge to get my insulin resistance in check. Assuming I feel as fantastic as others who have tried this feel, I will continue following a paleolithic diet.
In preparation for my Whole30 Challenge I bought a paleo cookbook (and bookmarked a BILLION paleo recipes and blogs). The cookbook I chose is Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso. I like that she has a nice introduction with some basics and an easy, no-fuss approach. One thing she suggests is to make some of the staples ahead of time, such as mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and BBQ sauce, as these will be used in recipes during the week. And thus my adventure into homemade mayo began...
I LOVE grocery shopping. Truly. If it were a profession, I'd do it. If I could find people to hire me to shop for them, I would. One thing I love to do while shopping is READ LABELS (what can I say... I'm naturally curious). Have you checked out the ingredients in mayonnaise? The jar in my fridge lists 20 ingredients... TWENTY!! Sure, it has eggs, oil, vinegar, and salt, but it also has modified food starch, sugar, beta carotene, lactic acid, potassium sorbate, phosphoric acid, water, soybean oil. No thank you! There is a nice easy looking recipe in Everyday Paleo for homemade mayo (I also happen to have a few friends who've made their own and they swear by it).
I bought an immersion blender (aka stick blender) because I thought it'd be the best tool for the job. Not sure if the one I bought was 1) cheap, therefore crappy 2) too powerful, therefore overheats or 3) not the right tool for the job. The first problem was that I have to hold the button on the stick blender (versus just pushing a button to turn it on/off), so my finger literally got a cramp and I couldn't hold the button long enough. The second (and more serious) problem was the issue of overheating. You have to blend this stuff for close to 30 minutes and this stick blender was HOT to the touch... no good. My oil and eggs did not emulsify and I ended up wasting a bunch olive oil and eggs... FAIL. I was also out of eggs and olive oil.
Little did I know, I could have attempted to save this batch. After my failed attempt I looked online to see if I could find a demo... and voila. I also discovered you can save "failed" mayo by re-emulsifying it.
The following day, I restocked my supplies and tried again. This time I used a hand blender, you know the kind you use to mix cake batter. I also made sure my eggs were room temperature. I started the process again, this time my eggs and oil did emulsify, however, the emulsion never thickened. Instead of tossing, yet another, batch of failed mayo I attempted to re-emulsify the batch. It got thicker, but more like really creamy dressing, not spreadable mayo. I saved this batch, if nothing else it'll make yummy salad dressing.
I also made a date with my friend, Cindy, who has been making homemade mayo for a while now and won't ever go back to store-bought.
Wish me luck on my Whole30!! I'll be making homemade beef jerky next week:)