“Consider the egg. All magic, it is. Forged from grass, worms, insects and grain in the mysterious depths of the hen, it appears like a gem in the nest box each day, cased in a flawless shell that is at once fragile and strong. You have to put a hen-warm egg against your lips to fully appreciate its particular texture. And inside that perfect packaging lurks its slightly creepy embryonic truth. It is an animal nut, not life but the rich seed of life. It holds the instructions for feather and nail, beak and brain, scratch and cluck, lacking only a little more magic to make it so – the heat of maternal love.
In the kitchen, the egg is a nearly instant and entirely scalable protein that can serve one person or a pack of famished farmers. This time of year, I love eggs most at lunch or dinner, soft boiled on toast with a green salad, or poached on top of a mess of sautéed rainbow chard, or hard boiled in a curry. Then there is mayonnaise, which is the base of our family’s favorite buttermilk ranch dressing. If you don’t yet make your own mayonnaise, or if you’ve done it by hand in the past with a whisk, you might be surprised at how easy it is with an immersion blender.
Immersion Blender Mayonnaise
Put an egg yolk in the bottom of a pint jar, being careful not to break it. Add a hefty pinch of salt, a tablespoon of cider vinegar, and about ¾ of a cup of oil for a small egg yolk, a cup for a large egg yolk. (My local favorite is Reber Rock’s sunflower oil, but you can use any fairly neutral vegetable oil.) Put the immersion blender over the egg at the bottom of the jar and hit it for about fifteen seconds without lifting or moving the blender. When you see the mayonnaise forming in the bottom of the jar you can slowly lift the blender to incorporate the rest of the oil. You can also blend in garlic or herbs or mustard or whatever else you like in mayonnaise. Adjust salt and seasonings, and that’s all there is to it.”
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- A Local’s Look at The Dirty Life (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- New Essex Farm Stand Open Daily (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
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