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Yes, I did it, I really did it! I’m posting the secret, which no recipe I found anywhere told, so take notes.

This recipe was at the Hellman’s site and is listed elsewhere as the Fanny Farmer recipe. I did it a leetle bit differently, and I’ll do it a little bit more differently the next time I make it–or maybe I won’t: Charlie has commented twice that it’s really good.

As we all know, emulsions are colloids, heterogeneous mixtures composed of tiny particles suspended in another immiscible (unmixable) material.

Easy Blender Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (can use white vinegar)
  • 1 cup salad oil (some say 1 1/4 cup–I used 1 1/4 cup)

Break egg into blender container. Add mustard, salt and vinegar. Add 1/4 cup of the oil. Cover and blend on low speed. Immediately uncover and add remaining oil in a steady stream. Makes 1 1/4 cup.

————-

So many other recipes said to add the first of the oil drop by drop, I didn’t put the oil into the food processor (I don’t have a blender) with the eggs; I added 1/4 cup of it drop by drop, by taking a spoonful and feeding it drop by drop through the hole in the top of the food processor (yes, it spit on me and I had to wash my glasses twice during the process). When the 1/4 cup of oil was nearly gone, I started drizzling in the rest of the oil. All this time, the motor has to be going.

Here’s the secret: Keep adding the oil, slowly, even though the mixture keeps looking like cake batter. All of a sudden–POOF!–it gets thick. It’s amazing. The more oil you add, the thicker it gets. That’s–what’s the word?–counter-intuitive.

When I make it again, I’ll try it the way they say to do it, and I’ll add less oil, because it’s thicker than I’d like. I could thin it with more lemon juice or a bit of water, but I’ll try less oil.

This mayonnaise has a personality of its own–not just something to keep the bologna from sticking to the roof of your mouth. I’m told one can flavor it with herbs, and I’m like, “Really? Ya think?” Okay, that was snotty, but that’s like saying you can actually BOIL stuff in WATER and make SOUP!!!!

If you prefer “salad dressing” (ICK), you may add powdered sugar until the resulting mess is as sweet as you like (YUCK). Just sayin’.

Anyway, I’m singing the Mr. Rogers Proud Of You song. 🙂

MA

writing prompt: Have a character master some technique he/she has been trying to master. Have him/her have nobody with whom to share it. Is that the end of the story?

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I tried to make mayonnaise again, and failed again. It didn’t “set” into mayonnaise, but just, you know, sat there looking like cake batter. So I got the previous failed batch out of the refrigerator and mixed it with the current failed batch.

Then I thought, “I’m not gonna totally waste all this. I’ll heat it up and give it to the dog–sucks to be a dog.”

So I put it into the microwave for a minute and took it out and stirred it up…and the heat had thickened it. I tasted it and found it good. I thought, “Sorry, dog–sucks to be a dog.” And I put it back into the refrigerator.

Our cucumbers are producing, so I cut one up into salted water with some dill weed in it and refrigerated it until supper. Then I drained the slices, put them into little bowls and topped them with the sauce.

It was quite good, actually, though tart because of the lemon juice in the first batch and vinegar in the second batch, and peppery from the white pepper I put into the second batch with, perhaps, rather too heavy a hand.

Now, mayonnaise is a cold sauce. Hollandaise, which is a cooked sauce, is made with butter and this was made with olive and canola oils. So what have I made? Maholla Sauce sounds nice.

Does anyone know of an officially known and named cooked sauce made with egg, oil and acidic liquid? If not, I just invented Maholla Sauce! Gonna have some on hard-boiled eggs for lunch!

MA

writing prompt: Write a scene where a person eats food he/she prepared for a dog. Why does he/she do it?

My mom hooked me up with this recipe out of one of her magazines. Last time I went to the grocery, I got some portobello mushroom caps the size of flying saucers. Well, small flying saucers, anyway. Flying saucers the size of, say…you know…saucers. Anyway, they were large.

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICH
pesto
mayonnaise
portobello mushroom caps
feta cheese
roasted red bell peppers
bread

Put oil or butter in a non-stick skillet. Sprinkle the gills of the mushrooms with seasoning–I used, of course, Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt. The original recipe called for balsamic vinegar, but that’s a taste I never acquired, so I didn’t use it. Anyway, put the mushrooms in the skillet and, if you have another skillet, put that on top to squish the mushrooms flat. Or you can use a panini press. I mean, put the mushrooms IN the panini press, not weight the mushrooms down WITH a panini press. Flip the mushrooms once and squish them again until they’re flat and all the liquid that’s going to has run out of them and evaporated.

Meanwhile, mix some pesto with some mayonnaise and spread that on bread. Add the mushrooms, roasted red bell peppers (or raw bell peppers of any color, though red or yellow or orange are sweeter than the green, I think) and feta cheese. Close the sandwich(es) and grill in a press or in a skillet with another skillet squishing it down.

My sandwich’s top slice of bread disintegrated under the weight of an iron skillet, so maybe squishing can go too far. But it tasted great!

MA

writing prompt: Write two or three versions of a scene where a character’s sandwich falls apart. Write one where it’s funny, one where it’s sad, maybe one where it’s scary, maybe other versions that may occur to you. Same basic events, different effects and outcomes.

We had a family get-together for Memorial Day, and the carnivores among us complimented me mightily on my bean soup, saying it had to be full of ham to taste like that.

It wasn’t.

I started with a jar of Randall’s pinto beans. Dumped the beans out into a pan and mashed them with a potato masher, leaving some intact but crushing most of them. Filled the jar with water and added that and maybe a little more. Since Charlie doesn’t do onions, I sprinkled in some onion powder; normally, I would chop some onions into it. I also put in some vegetarian vegetable bouillon. Finally, my secret ingredient: garlic-flavored olive oil. The oil adds that umami thing also called “mouth-feel” and the garlic, for some reason, compensates for the meat flavor. Cooked it slowly for a few hours, even though the beans were cooked already.

Speaking of vegan, at the convention this past weekend, we sprang for lunches at the food court, and I had the best fried tofu. It must have been flash fried or something: the cubes of tofu were puffed up and all knobbly on the outside, and it was served with a sauce of what tasted like soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped green onion and chopped peanuts. Take a bite out of the tofu and put the rest into the sauce, and the sauce soaked into the interior and…. YUM! Zowie, powie, it was good!

Looks like a gorgeous day. Enjoy!

MA

writing prompt: Does your main character enjoy getting together with family, or is it a little slice of hell? How about your villain? How about your favorite bit character?

When we went to St. Meinrad’s, Doris and Lori brought snacks. One of the snacks Doris brought was the most (appropriately) heavenly brownies! They were all fudgey and gooey like I like them. She said she made them with goose eggs. I was like, “Excuse me?” She said she has geese, and she bakes with their eggs. She said she doesn’t like them just scrambled or fried or boiled, because they’re different, somehow, but she bakes with them. Then she asked me if I wanted some.

Well, I used to be a lot pickier than I am now. Ever since I did that stint as Culinary Chronicles writer for World Wide Recipes, I’ve been a lot more adventurous. So I said, “Sure!” Yesterday, she brought seven to church for me. Betty, at church, said she heard goose eggs made good noodles, so I made noodles.

NOODLES

  • 3 chicken eggs or 1 goose egg and 1 chicken egg
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter (I used canola oil)
  • 2 1/2 or so cups of flour

Beat eggs slightly. Stir in oil. Add flour, a little at a time, to make a stiff dough. Roll paper-thin, or as close to it as you can, and put sheets on cloth to dry. Before they’re too dry to handle, roll sheets up and cut into strips as thin or wide as you want your noodles. Unroll strips and spread on cloth to finish drying. When dry (or when you get tired of looking at them), put the noodles into jars or bags and refrigerate or freeze. To cook, drop into boiling liquid. After liquid returns to a boil, cook for 10 minutes or so.


So back to St. Meinrad. Here are the church and the chapter house. If you look over the top of the chapter house wall, you can see the roof of the round dining pavilion. We got to look at it through the glass doors inside the visitors’ wing, but it’s inside the cloister, so we didn’t get to go in. The brother who gave us the tour showed us all around the church and the various places of meditation and worship, but I didn’t snap pictures, like, “Cool reliquary! Can I open it and blog the bones?” Even I have more tact and taste than that. If you want to see more pics than I took, go to their web site. If they want to take snaps of holy places, that’s their lookout.

Here’s a picture of one of those towers at the front corner of the church. Pretty cool, huh?

The last part of the tour was the rock garden. I took lots of snappies of this, but they weren’t all good. Real life, contrary to popular belief, is way better than pictures, although I agree that it would be even better with a soundtrack.

Finally, here is the Coolest. Chess set. Ever. It’s in the reception area. As always, it sucks to be a zebra, but the set is so cool, I would play even worse than I already do, if I tried to use this.

So that was our tour, and I highly recommend it. A tour of the whole grounds is even better, but we didn’t have time for it, and some of our members wouldn’t have enjoyed the walking. Me, my shoes are literally coming apart. Shopping for walking shoes is on my schedule today.

Have a good ‘un, as Angie Humphries used to say.

MA

writing prompt: What do you think would make a cool chess set?

I’ve been reading JASMINE NIGHTS by S. P. Somtow (My five-word review so far: Too much sex, great writing.). The book is set in Thailand and, even though I am not madly keen about Thai food (ICK! YUCK!), it put me in the mood for thin soup with bits in and cellophane noodles.

So I made this soup, and it was mighty tasty. No chili peppers, no peanuts, no fish sauce.

EXCELLENT VEGAN SOUP
I had those ginormous portobello mushroom caps on sammiches the other day, and the stems were also ginormous but perfectly good–neither squidgy nor woody–so I kept them. Last night, I chopped them up and sauteed them with the white part of green onions in garlic-infused olive oil and a little sesame oil. Then I added about 2 1/2 cups of water and 2 cups-worth of vegetable bouillon. I had two or three stalks of asparagus, so I broke those up and put them in, shredded a little bit of cabbage and put that in, along with some water chestnuts. Then I added the green part of the green onions, a splash of soy sauce and a grating of fresh ginger and simmered it all for about 20 minutes. I had some rice noodles, so I broke some of those up into it and cooked it another 3-5 minutes and it was MOST tasty!

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Tomorrow, I will be my own Actual Content Tuesday guest, blogging about how I put two books up on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

In other “news”, I found all that broccoli I knew I bought for the soup last Friday. It was in the fruit drawer. I know I looked there! I think Harvey must have hidden it, just so he could watch me improvise.

MA

writing prompt: Have a character get an overwhelming craving for a food he/she is reading about.

I know yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, but we had Italian anyway.

I told everybody (Charlie and visiting #4 daughter) it was Pasta Fazool, because it was pasta and beans (and mushrooms, which makes it Pasta Fazool con Fungi, or something, I guess). Back when I was writing a daily food history column for World Wide Recipes, I wrote this on February 12, 2008:

PASTA FAZOOL
This is my new food for this month.  I don’t know why I suddenly got a craving for a dish I’d never eaten before, but I did.  I’d heard about pasta fazool in my youth, from a couple of “novelty” popular songs and probably from Chico Marx, but I had never, to my knowledge, eaten it.  I found out it’s one of those foods that originated as a peasant dish, and so has no absolute recipe.  “Pasta fazool” is a corruption — or possibly a legitimate variant pronunciation — of pasta e fagioli:  pasta and beans.  Pasta fazool always contains some kind of small pasta (macaroni or, in a pinch, broken spaghetti) and beans, usually small white ones like cannellini or, because I didn’t have cannellini and I did have navy beans, navy beans.  It also has olive oil, garlic, onion and spices.  It might or might not have tomatoes or tomato sauce in it.  It might be a brothy soup, or it might not be soup at all.  Mine wasn’t soup, but I’ll bet a soupy version would be good.

So last night, we had this:

PASTA FAZOOL–OR NOT

  • cooked spaghetti
  • portobello mushrooms
  • cannellini or navy beans
  • pesto

Dice the mushrooms and fry in dry non-stick pan until they toast. Add some beans with juice and heat. Add pesto and heat gently to keep from melting the cheese that’s in it. Toss with spaghetti.

Very tasty.

#4 daughter and I like our spaghetti long, so we can twirl it onto our forks. Charlie likes to cut his into little pieces. So I guess he can truthfully claim to have had Pasta Fazool and we can’t. Like I care.

MA

writing prompt: Does your main character like to cook/eat to celebrate any particular non-official holiday? If so, what?

Our youngest grandson (5) brought this for me a couple of weeks ago. My name on it is an address, not an indication that this is what he thinks I look like.

Our grandkids call me Grandmar because my #3 (step)daughter calls me Mar and she had the first grandchild, so he grew up calling me Grandmar and the other grandkids followed suit. I love it, because people think our grandkids are bi-lingual and that they’re calling me Grandmère.

I peeled this guy and put him in our pea salad. It was very good.

We had a Derby party yesterday. Not a real party, just Mom and Charlie and me. Mom made Tilapia (fish) with a tomato/mushroom sauce and I made broccoli casserole.

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

  • 2 heads of broccoli, cooked or thawed
  • can cream of mushroom soup (YES, I COOK WITH CANNED SOUP! WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT?!? I thought not.)
  • mayonnaise, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • shredded cheese–I used Mexican mix
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • water chestnuts, slivered
  • Ritz or similar crackers
  • butter or margarine

Mix everything but the crackers and butter and put into a buttered casserole. Crumble crackers over the top. Dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is browned.

We had boughten Derby Pie for dessert and then we had Mint Juleps. I think there was a horse race.

~~~~

I’ve been getting some stories formatted to put up at Smashwords and for Amazon’s Kindle. I already have MA’S MONTHLY HOT FLASHES: 2002-2009 up at both places, and it’s looking pretty good, so I’m continuing with the project. If this bunch comes out looking okay, I’ll post here about how I did it. I’m not allowed to sell stuff on this free blog, so please visit my pro site, where I AM allowed to sell stuff. The Hot Flashes are free there, anyway, but not all in one chunk. I think the cover is way snazzy, if I do say so, myself.

The new collection is called THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK, and I should have it up in a week or so. It’s stories surrounding an enigmatic and charismatic Chinese/American(?) whose name translates as something like Bud Blossom, who has a dockside floating restaurant called the Golden Lotus in a small Midwestern town. He likes to tell stories about dragons, for some reason. I’m also, because of this, including “The Dragon of North 24th Street”, originally published in the final issue of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s FANTASY Magazine. So that should be fun. 🙂

Wish me luck!

MA

writing prompt: Next time you go to a restaurant where you don’t know any of the servers, imagine a life for yours. Talk to him/her about what the job entails and what it’s like. Not enough to get him/her in trouble with the boss, of course.

MomGoth Sparks o’ Joy, that is.

First, these guys popped out. They’re hyacinths, in case you don’t recognize them. Hyacinths always remind me of this poem by Medieval Persian poet Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, also called Saadi:

If of thy worldly goods thou art bereft
and from thy slender store
two loaves alone to thee are left
sell one and, with the dole,
buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

And, while you’re at it, how about a beer to go with that loaf you have left? Here is my favorite beer. I first had Killian’s Red at a science fiction convention where a couple of Canadians were throwing a bid party in hopes of having their Canadian town selected to host a Deep South Con. They pointed out that their town was in the deep south of CANADA. They also pointed out that purists could just travel south until they crossed Antarctica and the Arctic Circle and came back around south of the Arctic to Canada. They didn’t win the bid, but they won friends, and Killian’s Red won a lifetime fan. I like it the way I first had it–at room temperature.

On Saturday, Mom and I went to Destinations Booksellers in New Albany, Indiana and its café, The Dueling Grounds, for soup, sandwiches and literature. They have the BEST FOOD! Mom and I split a CheddarCot(tm): white cheddar cheese and apricot preserves. YUM! They must do something else to it than just that, because it’s sheer heaven. I bought Wendell Berry’s BRINGING IT TO THE TABLE, a collection of his essays about farming and food, a must-read for the locavores among us.

Sunday was Easter, of course, and Lori had an awesome message about not trying to take the Bible literally and getting tied up in knots over the disparities between Gospel accounts. She said the Bible isn’t about information, it’s about transformation; it’s about bringing ourselves to it to transform our lives and our relationships with God, others and the world. I’m so glad she came to work with us!

As always, getting together with Charlie’s family for their monthly gathering was a total joy. 🙂 Dolores made this wonderful spread/dip (I loved it, anyway–so much so that she sent the leftovers home with me–*danse-danse, danse-danse*).

Dolores’ Awesome Spread/Dip

Mix and nom.

I’ll be blogging tomorrow at Echelon Explorations and Fatal Foodies, so not sure if I’ll be here. But I’ll be there and there. So.

MA

writing prompt: What did the Easter Bunny bring your main character for Easter?

Our traditional Easter morning feast! This was passed to me from my mother from her mother.

GOLDENROD TOAST

Put toast in plates that will hold gravy. Melt butter. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and cook until bubbly and glossy. Add milk and cook, stirring to prevent scorching, until thickened. Cut eggs in half. Reserve the yolks and cut the whites into the sauce. Pour over toast. Crumble the yolks and sprinkle over sauce.

Delish! Happy Easter, everybody!

MA

writing prompt: Write a character who lives alone. What does he/she do on Easter morning?

WELCOME TO MY BLAHG

Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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