I have a lot of questions for you, also some excuses, and also I made mayonnaise

26 May

Dear Bec,  Is there such thing as a vintage blog post?  How long would a blog post have to exist on a hard drive before it becomes vintage?  Is two months enough?  Is said blog post vintage if  it has only previously been viewed by a couple of private eyes?  I wrote the following insanity back in March.  March!!  It was sitting pretty, all ready to post every single day of these past two months when everyone was like, “Who’s turn is it to post again?”  And I was quietly filing those emails under “Blog” and thinking, “Tonight!  Tonight!  Post tonight!”  Well, anywhoo.  Things happened!  I quit my job, went to France, and started a new job! 

I was told yesterday, “Excuses make you feel better; reasons make everyone else feel better.”  I’m not sure if these count as reasons or I’m just making excuses.  Either way, let me resolve to reason with myself no more and post the post!  After all, vintage or no, any recipes yielded from wedding cake leftovers should be shared BEFORE the wedding, right?  xoxo, Zoe

Gin & Tonic & Uke "I've been too busy to blog"


PS:  I’ll see y’all in Cape Cod (Piece) later today.  I may have just peed my pants out of excitement.  (How embarrassing!)

So what to do when you’ve been making cakes non stop for a week and have 12 extra egg yolks lying around?  For starters, you may consider getting over your snobby self and buying egg whites in cartons, instead of separating entire dozens and then standing over a bowl of yellow yolks wondering how much custard is safe to eat in a day. 

Last week, Emma had a great suggestion for using excess egg yolks in homemade ravioli.  If this option had been available to me at the beginning of March, my life might be different today.  Alas it was not, so mayonnaise it is.

In a New York Times article that I can no longer find, Mark Bittman talks about using his food processor to make mayonnaise.  He points out that there is a tiny little hole in that cylindrical part that you stick in the part that looks like a chimney thereby preventing your liquids from splattering your walls like a Pollock painting.  Genius!

I remembered this article vividly, but when the time came to make the mayo, I could not find it.   I cannot source it, I cannot give credit where credit is due.  But, what follows is a recipe for mayonnaise the way Mark Bittman  told me to do.  Via the New York Times.  At one point in time. 

This is what I remember Mr. Bittman saying.  “All you do is drop some mustard and egg yolk in your food processor and turn it on.  Then, pour your oil in to that little tube thingy that you stick in the top of your food processor, and it will drip at a slow consistent speed which is the PERFECT speed to create a delicious mayonnaise.  Otherwise mayonnaise is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to make.” 

Egg and Mustard, there is hope in this world!


So, I did as M. B. asked.  I put my yolk and mustard, and some salt n peppa in my food processor.  Then I measured out my oil, put it in my tube, and turned the whole thing on, and watched as nothing happened. And then had a total effing epiphany.  My goodwill-purchased, off-brand, food processor’s tube has NO HOLE. 

Add to that fact that the yolk and mustard weren’t in large enough quantities for the blade to even hit them as it whirled, so suddenly I have a tube that is kind of overflowing with oil (because yes, I put too much in) and I have oil dripping in places that it shouldn’t be dripping and I have a really gross looking yolk and mustard combo, and a colossal mess to clean up and no mayonnaise. 

This is also the time to mention that I’m having a total sugar meltdown because I’ve eaten nothing but cake for a week.  Let’s take a brief pause here. 

Okay, so now that I’m ready to pick myself up off the oily, oily floor and regroup, I discover that it’s not so difficult to make mayonnaise using arm power and a whisk.  I highly suggest it for those times when you have some extra yolks lying around. 


1-2 egg yolks (2 for an eggier tasting mayo, bien sur!)

1 tsp mustard (I used off-brand bottle, but I would suggest using either mustard powder or a high quality yummy mustard.  The subtle essence of Safeway generic really came through in my version).

1 cup olive oil (the better quality, the yummier it shall be)

2 tsp acid; either lemon juice or vinegar. 

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Whisk yolk and mustard in a bowl until combined.  Drip in a small amount of oil and whisk quickly until it combines thoroughly with the yolk and mustard.  There should be no separating.  This is called emulsion and it is beautiful.     

Continue adding oil and whisking until all of the oil is added, and you stare down into your bowl and think, “Hey!  I just made mayonnaise!”

Mayo, "An Anti-Portrait of Miracle Whip"


Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet, because you need to whisk a little bit of acid in.  I would suggest some fresh squeezed lemon juice, but sherry vinegar, an herbed vinegar, or apple cider vinegar would also work well depending on what flavor spectrum you’re feeling. 

But once you you’ve whisked the acid in, you should probably immediately spread in a pita, and throw in some sauteed spinach and peppers and chicken breast and sit back and enjoy.  Because life is so much better when you’ve eaten a real meal. 

Take a deep breath and regroup.  It’s time to bake another cake.  

Mayo in Pita, "A Color Study"



4 Responses to “I have a lot of questions for you, also some excuses, and also I made mayonnaise”

  1. Emma May 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Ah, Zoe…you are truly an artiste. (imagine me saying this with a french accent while your uke plays in the background).

  2. unemployeddelight June 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Yo Ztron,

    Did you notice that the olive oil made it kind of bitter? This happened to me, and after some internetz searching I learned that you can use vegetable or other oils to avoid this. Ca n’a pas ete un probleme pour toi?


    • Zoe June 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      Eliz! Is that why it was bitter? I blamed it all on the mustard which certainly did play a staring role in my mayo’s mediocrity.

      Okay, I’ll give it another shot with veggie oil. Thanks for the tip!


  1. Happy Wedding my friends! « The People v. Picket Fence - July 3, 2011

    […] realize now, that the self-doubting tone I took in my previous cake posts here, here, and honestly here too, was not the best way for me to put my friends at ease about their wedding cake. I’m a big baby […]

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