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  • Writer's picturesarahlovinger

Kitchen Ingenuity

Sometimes things go just as planned when we are cooking. But at other times, a cook needs to get a little creative and figure out how to turn a cooking road block around. Being a nimble cook can go a long way.

I had planned to make crab cakes for dinner tonight. My husband has been working rather intensely and I wanted to make a nice meal for him, crab cakes are delicious and generally very easy, and together with a salad, a meal of crab cakes offered a special treat for both of us.

It's not easy to buy tasty crab meat in the Midwest, but I have a source. I had stocked up on a container of delicious crab meat the day before, and was all set to start cooking dinner, and then I remembered the other essential ingredient: mayonnaise.

We had used up the last of the Hellman's--the only commercial mayonnaise I like--a while ago. I keep a shopping list of essential on our chalk board wall, in French, and yes, 'de la mayonnaise' appears on our chalk board wall. I just had not headed over to the big super market to buy it yet. I'll easily run out to the big super market on warm days; I can walk there in under 10 minutes. But it's cold out and already dark, and I did not feel like throwing on my coat and driving there. Then I remembered: I can make mayonnaise. And it's incredibly easy.

I looked up a recipe, pulled my Cuisinart out of my cabinet, lined up an egg, a lemon, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and canola oil on my counter, and got started. First, I separated the egg, and placed the egg yolk in the bowl of the Cuisinart. I added lemon juice, mustard, salt and vinegar, and stirred the mixture for 30 seconds. With the motor running, I started to slowly add the oil, a few drops at a time. The mixture gradually thickened, and then emulsified into a thicker concoction. I then added the oil more quickly...until voilà! I had made a cup of mayonnaise. I could move on to making crab cakes, which would be even more tasty with homemade mayo. Here's the recipe:

And my shopping list still reads 'de la mayonnaise.'

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