The Weston A. Price Way

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Busy Days and Mayonnaise

It's been crazy busy, and most people already think I'm crazy busy, which I am, but today I was more so. I didn't even have any grandchildren to watch today as one was sick with the stomach flu last night so her mom kept her home. I picked up her sister for school and that was it...Maybe that's the real reason why I did so much today...Get'er done while the gettin's good!

But I did wake up thinking about tonight's simple dinner and because I used the last of the mayo in the chicken salad yesterday, how to attempt to make a better mayonnaise than the ones I've made so far. I knew I'd need it for the sandwiches I planned for tonight. We often eat soup or sandwiches on nights when my hubby has classes.

I do that more often these days, (think about dinner before breakfast, I mean), now that I'm learning about planning ahead. I didn't do that so much in the past. Heck, some of the gals I follow plan a week or more in advance...I only do that when I know company's coming and I want to be sure to be able to play. But I do have aspirations of becoming better at planning. I am learning that in all areas of life, planning--leaving room for spontaneity, is a really good thing. You would think I'd know that by my age but I am in every sense of the phrase, the true definition of a 'late bloomer'.

So, what made the day so busy? I started by cooking a good breakfast, something I do not do every day. Although I do try to have something ready...boiled eggs, oatmeal in the crock, or maybe fruit and yogurt w/toast. But this morning, I cooked.

After my husband left for work, I started both the bread and the butter. I was able to get the butter to the stage just before washing and get the bread into a bowl to rise and into the light bulb-warmed oven before going to pick up my granddaughter for school. As soon as I got back, I washed the butter according to the way I learned on GNOWFGLINS, and it turned out the best yet. Unlike my usual method, I didn't add anything to it, other than a little salt, because I wanted to see how it came out doing it Wardeh's way. I like her way better.

When I finished that, because my kitchen is small and I think better without too much clutter, I washed everything I'd used so far. Then I needed to take some time to do some financial calculations regarding today's milk and egg pick-up, which today included an almond pick-up from someone in my buying club. Then I packed up the milk jars and egg crates for returns, as well as extra mason jars to exchange with Gennifer, who was bringing me my almonds in her jars. (Mason jars become quite valuable to you when you begin doing this sort of thing.)

At the park where we meet, I made all the pick-ups and exchanges, and remembered my hubby and I had agreed that we wanted to buy a planting calendar/guide from one of our farmers, so I got that, too. I realized while I was there that I do quite a bit of my shopping these days outside. I like that.

Today was a bit more laid back for me than usual because I didn't have to pick up the one grandchild from preschool, so I was able to chat a bit with some of 'the gang' about grains, sprouting, and where to get grains around here. (I thought there was nowhere, but my husband, who came home unexpectedly for lunch today, reminded me that Game's Farmer's Market does have some grains-some are even organic. I thanked him for reminding me as I truly had totally forgotten.)

In the midst of this, one of my girlfriends and I played phone tag and now she's 'It'. But is was nice getting to fellowship with some of the others in our ever-expanding 'Milk & Egg' group. There are so many of us now that sometimes I don't even get to say, "Hi" to them all. That's a good thing, I'm thinking.

I had just gotten in the car to go home and the cell rings. I thought it was my friend, but it was my husband and he was in our kitchen wondering where I was. He was wondering because he knows my normal schedule and I hadn't told him I didn't have childcare today.

So, he asked, "Do you want to meet somewhere for lunch?"

But since we had just recently discovered how much we spend on eating out, and agreed to eat out much less, I replied, "Well, we could meet in the kitchen...I'll be there in about 10 minutes."

I didn't ask him to fix lunch, but when I got home I found he had adopted one of my characteristics and actually doctored up the chicken salad in the fridge by adding grapes and walnuts that he'd cut up himself. He served them on toast and I poured us both a small glass of ice-cold, fresh and frothy raw milk. We ate without interruption, discussed whatever we wanted...Ah!...Better than eating out, by far!

But we had to bid adieu since the day goes on and off he went. I cleaned up the dishes, and got busy with boiling the eggs and doing the other thing I woke up thinking about this morning...making mayonnaise. I have made it according to the Nourishing Traditions recipe. It was a good sandwich spread, but it didn't taste like mayonnaise. I also have tried curried mayonnaise and it was better, but it's not for everyday, and although I adore it, I am aware that some people don't like curry at all.

You may ask, as my eldest did, "What's wrong with [store-bought] mayonnaise?...Or is this just something you're doing for fun?"

My briefest answer is that the problem is the soy factor. Soy inhibits thyroid function. 20+ years, ago, I foolishly listened to a well-meaning doctor and allowed him to zap my overactive thyroid with radioactive iodine. A great deal of my thyroid shriveled up and died over the next several days. Now I have very little. I need all the function I can get, so now that I understand the truth about soy, I try to avoid it.

Unfortunately, if you read the labels on just about every mayo out there, the main ingredient is soybean oil. The few that don't have that have some other kind of polyunsaturated oil. If you haven't learned the truth about polyunsaturated oils, you think at least they are 'ok', but I'm sorry to say, (because my life would be so much easier if I didn't know this), they aren't--and that's all I'm saying about that today.

I don't eat that much mayo, but I do use it for chicken salad, egg salad, and sometimes for sandwiches, etc, so I decided to find out if I could make my own. The N.T. way was a no-go for me, but later in my GNOWFGLINS online class, I came upon a link that led me to Kelly The Kitchen Kop's site with a better mayonnaise recipe. Kelly makes hers with palm sugar and sesame seed oil, which has a lighter taste than the EVOO in the N.T. recipe. It was better, but still a bit heavy on the oil taste for me. So, now that I'd made it someone else's way a few times, I figured I knew what I was looking for. The truth is, I want my healthier mayonnaise to taste as much like the junk I've grown up with as possible.

I know it's not the very best oil to use, but it's better than polyunsaturated, and the taste, to me, is less 'there' than the other oils recommended in the recipes I've used so far. So, I used peanut oil. It called for a cup, so I mixed 3/4 C. peanut oil with 1/4 C. EVOO.  I also used a mix of half and half raw coconut vinegar and raw apple cider vinegar for the acid. It turned out great and I'll give you my recipe at the end of today's post.

And so, with five minutes before the timer dings and I take our rye bread out of the oven, I have to say, it's been a very, very busy day. But my husband will taste the rewards of home eating as we delve into our pasture-grazed beef and raw Swiss cheese on home-made, butter-coated rye bread sandwiches, topped with homemade mayo. To the side will be yesterday's home-made thin dill crackers and an added condiment of Bubbee's relish. To further aid in digestion, a bit of kombucha.

I'm pretty sure that'll hold him through his night class...and me through a hot bath with a side of white wine.

Homemade and Healthy Mayo
Makes 1/2 pint

There is something truly magical about taking a few eggs and a bit of oil and watching them transform before your eyes into beautifully creamy mayonnaise.

*Hint from Kelly the Kitchen Kop that I followed and it worked: Warm the bowl you're using before you begin.
*Hint from one of Kelly the Kitchen Kop's readers: Use an immersion blender in a tall cup, (or the one that already has it's own tall mixing vessel), and you'll be able to add the oil in a slow steady stream rather than painfully slow drop by drop.
*Hint from me: If you plan to use an immersion blender, do NOT double the recipe as the mayo thickens so beautifully it will strain the motor of the blender, even a really good one...Don't ask how I know this :0/
*Last Hint: Don't be alarmed when your finished product is yellow. In fact, rejoice! The fresher your pasture-grazed eggs are, the yellower your mayonnaise will be. (In fact, mine was much more yellow than the picture above depicts.) Don't ask me how it comes white in the store jars...Knowing what I now know about how manufactures turn foods different colors, I'm almost afraid to find out.

Separate 3 room temperature, preferably pasturized, (note: pasturized is NOT pasteurized, it means pasture-grazed!), eggs and save the whites for whatever you want to save them for.

Put the yolks in the warmed, (just use hot water to warm), mixing vessel.

Mix in blender, processor or via immersion blender about 1 min.

Add 1/2 T. raw coconut vinegar and 1/2 T. raw apple cider vinegar.

Blend 30 seconds.

Add 2 t. palm sugar, (this is Kelly's way), or raw coconut crystals, (my way and I think if they aren't the same thing, they're really close.)

Also Add 1/2 t. sea salt, coarse or fine.

Blend to mix.

Add 1 C. expellar-pressed peanut oil, drop by drop if blender, using the dispersion cup at the top if processor, and simply slow stream if using immersion blender. (I absolutely love using the last method.)

When it's good and mixed, mix in 1/2 T whey* and it will keep longer.

Let it sit out on the counter for 7 hours, then store in fridge. If you aren't using pasture-grazed eggs, I would be hesitant to leave it on the counter. We have used this mayo for many things and the counter time has always been the same. You'd have to read N.T, or refer to the Weston Price Foundation for more info, but this is perfectly safe as long as your jars, hands, utensils, etc. are good and clean during processing.

*Don't use powdered whey, use whey made from placing whole-fat (preferably organic), yogurt in a dish towel suspended over a bowl. Don't squeeze, but allow the whey to drip at it's own pace. Within minutes you'll have enough whey for this recipe. If you allow the yogurt to continue straining, you will have cream cheese by the next morning. Because 'store-bought' cream cheese has been through industrial processing, has taken time to get to the store from the manufacturer and has probably been on the shelf for a while, the taste will be much milder. If you don't like the 'twang' of the fresh, real stuff, let your cheese sit in a lidded container in the fridge for about a week and taste test again. 10-1 says you'll like it better. Oh, and sometimes, I add homemade jam to the cheese before packing it into the container. Delicious.

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