This weekend, I was on my own, as Mark was out of town. I love having a weekend all to myself, all possibilities open to me…which means that I make grand plans of all the things I’m going to get done around the house. And then, I ditch all the “chore-like” activities on the list, and spend most of the weekend in the kitchen. No surprise, right?!
Saturday morning, Turbo (the greyhound) and I got up early for a long walk on the beach at sunrise, which allowed me time to make the plan for the day. It was the perfect late summer morning to sit on the beach, listen to the waves and feel the sun’s first light as you think about what form the day will take. And I decided that the day would begin with a bike ride to the farmer’s market. I spent the rest of the morning making gluten-free rosemary tomato bread and 2 batches of my granola bars.
By afternoon, I was looking for a little break, so I biked to Evanston to go see “Julie & Julia.” If you loved Julia Child, food, or if you are a food blogger – go out and see this film before it leaves theaters. I remember watching Julia Child on PBS when I was a kid, and a few dinner parties where my parents and their best friends cooked fancy meals from Julia’s cookbook. Meryl Streep was absolutely magical as Julia and truly captured Julia’s offbeat charm. I laughed and smiled throughout the whole film.
As for the “Julie” part of the film, I read the blog in 2003 as Julie was was writing it for Salon.com, and thinking that I could never muster the dedication to cook every recipe in an entire cookbook – let alone WRITE about them all…and I still think that. However, as a newbie food blogger, I definitely identified with the obsession of creating new recipes and content for the blog. I’ve been doing this blog for 10 months now, and I’m always thinking about what I can share with you next.
After the movie, I was inspired to cook something French…but I’m not much for the precise techniques and high butter content of French cuisine….when I remembered a post from David Lebovitz (who blogs about his life in Paris) about making homeade garlicky aioli. Perfect! Aioli is simply homeade mayonnaise made with egg yolk and olive oil, and flavored with whatever you like – I made mine with raw garlic and some basil. The aioli came together beautifully in about 5 minutes, and then I grilled up some albacore tuna, made a green salad, and drizzled aioli over all of it. Maybe it’s not the healthiest meal, but it is perfectly delicious.
1 very fresh egg yolk (locally raised if you can get it)
1 small garlic clove
1 T minced basil
1 pinch salt
olive oil (about 1/2 cup)
- Place the garlic clove in a mortar and pestle with the pinch of salt and bash it into a smooth paste. Add the basil to the garlic, and bash that into a paste.
- Place the egg yolk in a bowl, add in the garlic basil mixture and begin to whisk. Drip the oil in slowly as you whisk (and I really do mean drip – this must be done slowly for the emulsion to hold) constantly. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of olive oil before I decided that it resembled mayonnaise, and tasted to my liking.
- Serve over fish, chicken, green salad, or simply dip fresh veggies into the aioli for a simple appetizer or lunch.