Recipe? Why Not?

If you really want to do this, Andy, just remember my mother and all her dire warnings.Start with two egg yolks. I’ve forgotten whether you add the seasonings now or later, but I did it later and it seemed to work. I think you should add a pinch of salt, though.

Add oil and beat it (remember: drop-by-drop with a manual egg-beater).

Mayonnaise is actually an “emulsion” – I’m not sure what that is (though it tastes pretty good), but it means that it has to hold, or bind, or something. If the eggs look curdled and disgusting, it’s not doing that, so you throw the whole thing out and start again.

After the drop-by-drop business has been going on for a while, you have a pale, creamy mass which looks like a lot more in quantity than the sum of the ingredients. This is good. You can gradually increase the volume of oil you add at each step, and keep beating. The mixture should start to get quite thick and gluey.

At some point, you stop and add lime juice, which will thin the mixture. After that, you can keep adding lime juice and oil alternatingly, to keep the mixture in the range of acceptable consistency.

After a while, your egg-beater hand will be hurting, so you stop.

If you taste the mixture, it will mostly taste of oil. Now add the seasonings: salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, mustard powder, vinegar. If you want to turn it into tartar sauce, add finely chopped onion, tomato, garlic, green chillies, and whatever else you feel like.

This mayonnaise is not like the one you get from a jar. It will be tart with lime juice and not sweet. It us also usually a little thinner in consistency.

Usually the seasonings will mask the oil flavor, but it is better to use a mild flavored oil, or one that you actually like the flavor of, such as olive oil. Strangely, it doesn’t taste of raw egg yolk.

I used a small jar-full of oil. It was about the capacity of a small jar of jam, or coconut oil. Of course, I finally ended up needing four egg yolks, but usually two will do. Keep plenty of lemons handy (at least three) – you can keep adding lemon juice and oil until you think you’ve made enough.

Hint: If you think this recipe is a little dicey, do a quick search on Google for a better one.

And, if it still doesn’t work out, don’t forget the role played by the thunderstorm, and the vampire bat.

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