Yay for life! Today is blue-skyed and breezy, quite warm for an October day but beautiful nonetheless.
Yesterday I bought big-girl perfume (this, if you care to know). Last night my mom slept over; we had Scottish gin with tonic and cucumber wedges and chicken soup with buttercup squash and kale while we watched one of our favorite movies. I was off work today so this morning we drank coffee on the porch and ate peppery fried eggs and talked about cake combinations and how to skin a lizard. Just kidding, we didn't talk about that last part; more like where to plug in the new string lights I bought for my porch. And then I put on lipstick and perfume and went to the local restaurant supply store to buy a candy thermometer, where the middle-aged Italian woman who works there called me sweetie. And when I got home I listened to this and made homemade mayonnaise and black pepper garlic aioli, just like the one at my sister's restaurant.
Tonight we will go to a pub and eat fish & chips, in honor of my darling Gran's birthday. I will wear her old wind-up watch and pretend like I'm back in Scotland, and we will probably cry and tell some stories. She would have been 69 today, and she was one of the most treasured and joyful people I've ever known.
Life is a joy, don't you think?
One of Gran's three rotating summer meals was ripe Maryland tomato slices spread with creamy mayo and lots of cracked black pepper. And lemme tell ya, this homemade mayo is great for that. Or the aioli. Don't worry about the calories; all the whisking you're about to do will cancel them out.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Take 1/4 cup of the olive oil and whisk it in drop by drop, so that it emulsifies with the yolk mixture. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Slowly add the rest of the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time. Do the same with the vegetable oil. This should take about 6-8 minutes. At this point, your mayonnaise is ready! If you want a thicker consistency, keep whisking. I added a few pinches more salt for flavor.
Note: this recipe makes a tangy mayo. You can really taste the lemon juice and olive oil. If you want something more store-bought style, substitute white wine vinegar for the lemon juice and vegetable oil for the olive oil.
Black Pepper Garlic Aioli
- half of the above mayonnaise recipe
- 2 large garlic cloves
- sea salt to taste
- lots and lots of freshly ground black pepper
Place half of the above mayo recipe in a bowl. Chop your garlic cloves very finely and mash them to form somewhat of a paste. Fold these into the mayo, along with a few grinds of sea salt and several grinds of black pepper.
Bam. Life to the fullest.