Monday, May 18, 2009

Hold the mayo

I was feeling cocky after several recent successes in the kitchen. I'm a decent homecook and can even make several tricky things and I'm not afraid of recipes. So over the weekend, I confidently set out to tackle two "minor" home cooking projects: sourdough bread and mayo. I blithely imagined homemade chicken salad sandwiches for lunch this week: grilled, mediterranean-spiced chicken breasts were on the menu for Sunday's supper.

Turns out sourdough bread and mayo may be the two trickiest things I've ever tried to make. I tried three batches of sourdough starter: the first started out nicely and then turned rancid in about 2 hours; the second was lovely, but died when I tried to feed it and the third never got off the starting blocks - it remained a gooey, gluey mess until I tossed it this morning.

The mayo was even worse. I used every single appliance in my appliance garage -- food processor, blender, whisk, hand-mixer-- a dozen eggs and an entire bottle of olive oil and never wound up with more than an oily mess everywhere. Them there egg yolks just wouldn't emulsify no matter what. I've never been more disgusted. And it took forever to clean up too.

I topped off the weekend by killing my last batch of homemade yogurt, so now I'm going to have to start from scratch with store bought.

I'm thinking my kitchen is too hot now that summer is here. Time to retire my baker's hat (until fall) and focus on salads and ice cream.

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