That’s what I am.

KJ and LJ, I know I promised a recipe for ham glaze, but it can’t be helped (eat more bacon-wrapped meatloaf  LOL) – we are playing host to about 30 clients, and our time is not our own today or tomorrow.  I’ll be back Wednesday.

In the meantime, have a lovely Monday and Tuesday, y’all.

Homemade Mayonnaise

We had a company meeting this morning, and our smart ass salesman asked “Who’s bringing donuts?”

Now, this is only funny if you consider the fact that out of the six people in our company, 3 are diabetic, 1 is pre-diabetic, and four of us are on The Diet.  Yes, we’re slowly but surely corrupting influencing those around us – my brother and sister-in-law have also jumped on the grain free/whole foods bandwagon.  With a great deal of enthusiasm, I might add.

We figured we couldn’t have a morning meeting without providing some sort of goodies, so I decided I’d provide MY kind of goodies – in the form of 4 dozen deviled egg halves, cubed ham (the last of Arnold), raw milk cheeses, cantaloupe and some organic grape tomatoes.  Which means Beloved and I spent last evening boiling and peeling pastured eggs (fresh eggs are an absolute bitch to peel), cubing ham and cheese and making mayonnaise.

I’ve talked a little about my mayonnaise snobbery before and even included a recipe as part of a larger recipe, but decided the subject needed a post all of its own.  I grew up in a typically Southern, mayonnaise-eschewing, Miracle Whip-loving household and to this day prefer some things with Miracle Whip (if I were to ever eat a bacon sandwich on white bread again, for instance).  It’s just one of those guilty pleasures.

I didn’t develop a real taste for mayonnaise until after my first marriage ended (my ex also being particularly fond of bacon sandwiches on white bread).  Now that I make my own I’ve become a complete mayonnaise snob, simply because even the highest quality commercial mayonnaise cannot compare in taste to a good homemade mayo made with truly quality ingredients.

Look at the jar of mayonnaise you have in your fridge.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  It’s white, isn’t it?  If it’s a good quality mayonnaise, it might be kind of off-white.  My homemade mayonnaise is a lovely deep, lemon-yellow color – a combination of the deep orange yolks from the pastured eggs we buy and the light golden color of the olive oil I use.  (Note: I use “light” olive oil for mayo; extra-virgin just has too strong a flavor for mayonnaise in my opinion).  Now read the list of ingredients on the label.  It’s likely to say something like this:

Soybean oil, whole eggs, vinegar, water, egg yolks, salt, sugar, lemon juice, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality).

Yikes – soybean oil.  Sugar.  Preservatives.  “Natural flavors” is a common industry euphemism for MSG.  Note that this is also the list of ingredients for Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise – the same mayo that their site claims is “Real. Simple. Made with eggs, oil and vinegar.”  No mention that the oil is highly refined from GMO soybeans or of the added sugar, preservatives and neurotoxins.  When I make mayonnaise, it has nothing but egg yolks, olive oil, white wine vinegar and a little lemon juice, mustard and salt.

Yes, the Hellman’s will last for quite a bit longer in the refrigerator than mine will…but this is a good thing?  Ummm, I don’t think so.  Nor am I worried about salmonella from eating raw eggs – the risk is almost non-existent with the fresh, pastured eggs  from a local farm (you can always use pasteurized eggs if you don’t have access to pastured eggs).

Make some real mayonnaise.  You can make it with as little as a single egg yolk and 1/2 cup of olive oil if you can’t use up a larger amount in a few days and if you have a stick blender, stand mixer or food processor it’s finished in about 3 minutes.

Note: I’ve gotten so used to making my own mayonnaise I don’t bother with the boiling water any longer – I’ve never had a batch curdle or separate (to be honest, I no longer warm the bowl on my stand mixer either).  Include the water if you haven’t made mayo before or if you want to thin it a bit.  And if you really want it to taste like Miracle Whip, double the vinegar and add a couple of teaspoons of sugar.  I won’t tell anyone.

Homemade Yumminess


makes about 2 cups

3 yolks at room temperature

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard (I used a good Dijon)

1 3/4 cups light olive oil, vegetable oil or a combination of both

2 tablespoons boiling water

Warm the mixing bowl from the stand mixer in hot water; wipe dry and latch on to the mixer.  Place the egg yolks in the bowl and attach the whisk.  Beat for 1 or 2 minutes until they are thick and sticky.

Add the vinegar or lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds more.

Begin adding the oil by drops with a teaspoon, or rest the lip of the measuring cup on the edge of the bowl. Keep your eye on the oil rather than on the mayonnaise. Stop pouring and continue beating every 10 seconds or so, to be sure the egg yolks are absorbing the oil.

After 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil has been incorporated, the mayonnaise will thicken into a very heavy cream and the crisis of potential curdling is over.  Beat in the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream.  If the mayo becomes too thick and stiff, beat in drops of vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out, then continue with the oil.

Beat the boiling water into the mayonnaise – more anti-curdling insurance. Season to taste.

If not using immediately, scrape it into a small bowl and cover it tightly so a skin will not form on its surface.

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Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

Hangin’ With The Grands

Hi, everybody! Grandma does this blog thing called the Spin Cycle an’ this week it’s about “collages” an’ she said I was gonna be in it. This worried me, since I haven’t even started pre-school, but Grandma says it’s not about school – it’s about pictures.

Like she needs an excuse to take pictures of me; every time I turn around she’s got the camera out.  I didn’t even know what her face looked like till I was 6 months old.

So, Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Young One (who seems pretty old to me) came down to Cincinnati last weekend to visit me and Mommy and we had a great time!

First we went swimmin’.

After my demonstration of the fine art of splashin’, everybody said they were tired and hungry.  I wasn’t tired, but I figured lunch sounded like a good idea, so we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s new favorite fast food place – Culver’s.

After a healthy lunch of roast beef and green beans (although I may have preferred a grilled cheese sammich, apple juice and frozen custard – not that the Grands would ever actually feed me something like that when we’re by ourselves, you understand), we headed to Carter’s baby store where Grandpa and Mommy did a little shoppin’ and I terrorized the staff kept busy by playin’ Legos with Uncle Young One and chattin’ up the ladies.

Then we stopped by Half Price Books, where I helped Grandpa pick out a  little light reading.

I got to spend some of the time at a neat place called a “hotel” where I got to watch Mickey Mouse and Spiderman and Grandma spent a lot of time saying, “No, G – you can’t play with that.”  Which I basically ignored.

Eventually, we headed back to my and Mommy’s place.  We watched Toy Story, Grandpa read me stories, and I modeled my Halloween costume for everybody.

Does this make my butt look big?

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Would you  believe that we’ve already gone through most of Arnold?  All that’s left is a shoulder roast Beloved wants to smoke before it gets way too cold (it may be too late), a smaller roast, some of the ham and a couple of pork chops – I think we ate the last of the sausage for breakfast this morning.

The bacon, alas, went some time ago – what can I say?  We love us some bacon.  We’ve had to make a couple of trips up to White Feather Meats just to buy more (well, and hang out with the Perkins family – they are just great people).  On one of those trips they informed us that our farmer, Jon Berger, is now raising pastured hogs.  Yay!  We’ll be picking up the uncured portion of Wilbur (I know, but Beloved is insisting) on Saturday.  They were also selling some of the bacon from one of Jon’s hogs in the retail store and we bought, well, ALL of it.

So between Chuck and Wilbur, the pastured eggs and grass-fed milk this meatloaf is just one big Hunk O’ Pastured Goodness.  All topped with a glaze of organic tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and local, raw honey – healthy, healthy comfort food.  Yeah, buddy.

(Note to Jen:  I bet you could do this with turkey bacon, no problem.)

Since wrapping a glazed meatloaf in bacon takes a little thought, I took pictures of the process.

I didn’t want the meatloaf sitting in the pan, since I wanted the bacon to get crisp, so I took one of my cooling racks and set it on top of my largest glass baking dish.  Then I laid the strips of bacon across it, alternating them slightly, so that they hung down the sides.

I just formed the loaf on top of the bacon – it’s a really moist meatloaf and there’s no way you could form the loaf and then place it on the bacon.  Then I just spooned the glaze over the top and spread it down the sides.

All wrapped up and ready to go in the oven.

And this is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.  I just want to add that this was so very good The Young One, who normally will not touch a glazed meatloaf (unless it’s barbecue sauce) not only scarfed this down but was trying to steal the bacon off of everyone else’s dinner.

Note: Since Beloved and I no longer eat grains, there is no bread in this recipe for a binder, and it really doesn’t need it.  If, however, you want to add them to stretch the recipe another serving or two, add 1 1/2 cups fresh bread, torn into small pieces, to the meatloaf when mixing.

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

serves 6

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black paper

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1/4 cup milk

2 pounds ground chuck or a mixture of 1 pound ground chuck and 1 pound ground pork or veal

8 slices thick-cut bacon

1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste, divided

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 – 3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat; cook the onion until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place a rack on or in a large, glass baking dish.  Alternating slightly, lay the strips of bacon across the rack, one end in the middle and allowing the other end to hang over the side of the dish.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the tomato paste with the water, apple cider vinegar, honey, prepared mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with the onion/garlic mixture and the remaining tomato paste and gently but thoroughly mix with your hands.  Form into a loaf directly on top of the bacon, leaving enough of the bacon uncovered to wrap the top of the meatloaf.  Spoon the glaze over the top of the meatloaf and spread down the sides, covering it completely.  Lift the ends of the bacon hanging down the sides and place over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake for an hour, or until the meatloaf is cooked through and the bacon is brown and crisp.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Posted in participation of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday.

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