Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Make Homemade Mayo!


Posted by PicasaI finally broke down and tried my hand at this wonderful condiment.  With homegrown eggs, this is definitely the recipe to make.  I've had chickens for quite awhile so I am not sure why I haven't tried it yet. 

Here is a recipe I used:  
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 cups 100% vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

Make sure everything is room temperature.  Get your eggs and using an immersion blender or regular blender, beat those eggs!!!  Once the eggs are completely mixed, add everything but the oil.  Now you are ready for the tricky part.  My eggs were tiny because they were from a newly laying flock so I had to judge when it was enough oil.  Believe it or not, I only needed 1 cup of oil because my eggs were so small. As your machine is whirring, drizzle SLOWLY with the oil.  I used an immersion blender and had an extra pair of hands helping me out. Incorporate the oil.  Researching this, you hear people say that their mayo broke.  That means everything starts to separate.  You don't want that because this is an emulsion...everybody needs to stick together!  How can you tell when you have enough oil?  You will see things start thickening up pretty quickly.  If you see oil start pooling on top and it won't incorporate into your emulsion very quickly, stop adding oil.  Your emulsion is full...try to get that last little bit of oil worked in, but do not add more.  Voila!!!  You have mayonnaise.  Smell it...taste's pretty darn amazing!  Mine looks a bit yellow.  That's because I used dijon mustard.  If you research all the recipes, you could use vinegar and other ingredients...this just seemed pretty simple to me and the taste is spot on.  

I hope this helps anyone who has been scared to try their hand at this.  It really is quite easy and I know I will never have to buy mayo again!  Next blog post I will show you what I am doing with this mayo!  Have a great day, everyone!  Blessings!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It was bound to happen...

My husband warned me. I still planted the garden out front.  It increases my yields and looks so nice.  But it happened...and mama is not happy.

Someone sliced a zucchini from one of my plants and left half of it there.  Hmmmm.  Can someone please tell me what is wrong with people?  Earlier this year, we had an incident with someone cutting off every bud off my roses, just before they were ready to bloom.  I was livid.  I think we know who did it and she has moved out (she lived with renters across the street).  But I am really not sure anymore since this has occurred.  I don't know.  I really don't understand what causes people to go on your personal property and take something that is clearly not theirs.  What troubles me is that someone with a knife was on my property.  This was no animal...they are clean cuts from a blade.  I reported the first incident.  I wonder if I should report this?  Over the weekend, I was extremely sick.  My family was gone for most of the weekend, while I slept a lot trying to recover so my normal presence in the garden wasn't felt.

I felt much better this morning, but I think I overdid it.  I picked a load of veggies from the backyard and prepped some beds for fall.  I planted peas, and will work on getting more things planted once I feel better.  Here's what I picked:

The newest flock of chickens are starting to lay.  Two out of the nine are laying.  My zucchini (from the front) is going gangbusters...I really need to shred them and get them in the freezer.  I think with the cabbage, carrots, and eggs, I will make homemade coleslaw.  The carrots are just beautiful.  I cut the carrot tops off to freeze so I can throw them into a pot for vegetable broth.

After my stint this morning, I was wiped out.  I had gone to bed very early tonight with what seems to be a fever.  I am now awake blogging because I can't go back to sleep.  Ever since I turned forty a couple years ago, my health has been all out of whack.  I am seriously going to devote myself to getting really healthy and being kinder and gentler and more aware of what is going into my body.  It's a process.

I hope your garden is growing well and that no one is thieving your goodies (grrrr).  Blessings to you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Food, Not Lawns

We have had tons of rain around here which has been most welcome.  I haven't had to water in a very long time which is very odd for these parts.  I will take it, though.  I've done something new this year.  I am growing vegetables in my front yard as well.  It has been great!

I have a flower bed in the very front.  That has been there for years and it is very low maintenance.  I have lavender, liatris, chives, lilies, bulbs for all sorts of things, and salvia.  Well, I am not a huge proponent of grass so I put in two additional beds.  The one directly behind my flower bed is full of different kinds of squashed.  I have zucchini, straightneck squashes, large squashes like "Sweet Meat" and "Delicata."  I also have a bush variety of a butternut squash growing here and some bush beans, and I believe there is a pumpkin tucked in there.

I am training the long vines to grow towards the tree.  If anything reaches I will have them grow up fabulous would that be--a squash or pumpkin tree?!  I also put in another bed right in front of my window.  Here is where I have pumpkins, melons, and watermelons growing.

I have sugar pie pumpkins growing and they are doing very well.  However, the melons and watermelons just aren't growing like the pumpkins are.  I'm not sure if it's the altitude...maybe I planted too late...? I was looking forward to having them, but I will try again next year.  I think I will put my tomatoes in the above bed next season.   As you can see by my lawn (or lack thereof), it is a bit sparse.  I am not in the business of growing grass.  Of course, the True Lawn guy noticed too and came knocking on my door with his little apprentice.  The apprentice had no idea what he was talking about and was trying to get me to spray my tree and my grass......dude, do you see the vegetables up front...we eat those....why on earth would I want to spray???  Well, they got a little lecture about the history of grass and why I despise it and if I am going to water something I should be able to eat it.  The older gentleman was nice and was trying to sell the organic line...ummm yeah, I have chickens so I produce my own fertilizer.  I don't think they knew what to do with me.  Anyways, if you are not restricted by a covenant and want more footage for growing your vegetables, try some nice beds up front.  By incorporating some nice flowers and some architecture, you can get a lot of produce AND be the talk of the neighborhood!  Happy growing, friends!