My son takes a sandwich to school almost every day.  He likes mayonnaise.  I don’t like modified food starch (nor do I like paying out the nose for a prepackaged condiment without the aforementioned gunk).  Being the recovering (former) vegetarian mom that I am, I packed sandwiches with mustard, fresh guacamole, or hummus.  We had the same conversation after each time.

Son: Mom, I really like the lunches that you send me.  I just want to tell you that you’re super awesome.  You’re the best mom ever!  I really appreciate that you take the time to send me lunch.  You’re so thoughtful.

Me: I’m glad, buddy.  Did you eat it all?

Son: Um, I ate the strawberries…and the celery…and the oat cookies…and most of my sandwich.  I took off the slice of bread that had the hummus on it.  I scraped the hummus off my cheese and meat and ate it open on the other slice.  It was just fine like that.  No complaints here.  You’re amazing, Mom!

Now, that’s a kid who I want to please.  Had he whined or threw it away (in order to buy a school lunch containing slime that the kids think is cheese), I would be inclined to mandate, “I am your mother!  You WILL eat this plant!”  But he was nice about it, not only to be respectful, but also not to hurt my feelings.  I want to give that kid the world.  Maybe I should start with mayo.

I read about how to make mayo from scratch.  I found that the ingredients are things that I always have on hand.  It seems to me that people don’t make it because the science is too easy to mess up.  However, if one does the steps in the right order, science is happy and mama is happy too.  Here’s what I found to be effective.

Step 1) Set three eggs on the counter, run a load of laundry, and go take the kids to preschool.  Wait…that’s me again.  Leave them on the counter and come back to make mayo when they’re room temperature.

Step 2) Prepare ingredients.

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tsp of acid (The acid could be lemon juice or white vinegar.  My son likes lemon, but I like vinegar because the flavor of the mayo more closely resembles the mayo in a jar.  My son accurately based his preference on taste and not mimicking what other people have decided is normal.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (or more) of oil (whatever oil is in the pantry will probably work.  I’m trying to reduce soy intake in our family, so safflower, sunflower, olive, and sometimes corn)
  • Other desired spices

Step 3) Put the egg, yolks, acid, and salt into a blender.  Blend on high for about 30 seconds.  The egg yolks hold the mayo together.  Mayo is acid and oil.  Without the egg yolk base, acid and oil can’t be friends.  Think of how oil and vinegar dressing separates.  Egg yolk allows them to blend together.

Step 4) Keep the blender running.  Drizzle (do not dump) a cup of oil into the churning egg 

and oil mixture.  Dumping overwhelms it.  Then, yellow yolks, yellow lemon juice, and yellow oil fluff into a WHITE, creamy mayo.  Cool, huh?  Some use more oil here.  Taste it and make sure it’s salted/spiced as desired.  Let it churn for a minute or so, helping the tornado of mayo move if needed in order to get all of the oil blended.

Step 5) I highly suggest putting it in a ketchup bottle (either one that is for picnics or an empty one).  Speed up the school lunch packing process.  Refrigerate.

Step 6) Go make an egg white omelet…or a homemade face mask.  You have at least two egg whites that need not to go to waste, especially free range!  Crush up the egg shells for the garden while you’re at it.  :)

I have an awesome kid (three awesome kids, but one with a particular affinity for mayo).  I’m going to relish    the times when he still believes that my supermom cape is an apron.