We all deal with stress and anxiety differently, and the only way I know how since the lockdown has been to bake or cook away. I have always been in awe of how my lola made everything from scratch, including ketchup. I have been emulating her ways in the kitchen, though I am still nowhere near how she used to make things—like curing ham, making fresh corned beef, or bottling her own Spanish-style sardines.
But I certainly have made progress over the last year. With her as inspiration, I feel like there is no recipe I cannot follow.
These days it is even more important to take care of our health and eat fresh. I am not yet going the route of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan or anything like that. But I would like to think that knowing what goes into my food helps. For instance, it helps to know that there are no preservatives and I used only fresh ingredients for this homemade mayonnaise.
Making your own food does not even take a lot of time. It takes even longer to order fastfood delivery than whipping up something in your kitchen. Some people say they don’t know how to cook. But my lola always said, if you know how to eat, you know how to cook.
Some important notes that come in handy in the kitchen:
Mise en place. I learned this from friends who are chefs, and from watching cooking shows. Prep all your ingredients first before you start cooking.
Prepping includes making sure you have enough time. If you’re making bread, you have to consider resting/proofing times, it usually takes 1 to 2 hours of proofing. For sourdough bread, forget about eating it on the same day. It’s meant to be eaten the following day.
Always stock up on fresh ingredients. I keep a list, and make sure that I always have enough flour, for example. And my backup has a backup. I have flour in my pantry within reach, and I have vacuum-sealed packs in our other pantry for later use. But that’s just me. All I’m saying is it is important to have a list when going to the grocery.
Learn to tweak the recipe according to your liking. Taste is very subjective. Some recipes may not work for you, too salty, too sweet, etc. Learn to adjust the flavors and textures according to what you like. What is right is what works for your tastebuds.
This homemade mayonnaise recipe is so easy, it’s fail-proof. And there’s a long list you can use it in and here are my go-to mayo recipes:
@thekitchendiarist#easychickensalad #foodtiktok #thekitchendiarist #easyrecipe #fyp #salad♬ NOTHING – Westover
- Chicken salad (replace with tuna, egg, or ham)
- Garlic aioli
- Cilantro mayo
- Sriracha mayo
- Grilled cheese (slather the side where you grill it and it makes it extra toasty)
- Classic deviled eggs
- Ranch dressing
- Sushi bake
- Tartar dressing for crab or fish cakes
- Chicken potato salad
- Immersion blender
- 1 large fresh egg
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup neutral-flavored oil, like canola oil
- salt to taste
- Put all ingredients in a jar just wider than the head of the immersion blender. The oil is gradually emulsified into the other ingredients. When using a food processor or a blender, add all ingredients except the oil, and gradually add in the oil with the other ingredients. However, I find that this recipe works best with an immersion blender. The immersion blender creates a vortex gradually pulling the oil down into the blades to emulsify the oil into the other ingredients.
- Do not pulse or move the head of the immersion blender. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.