November 26, 2009

Aioli And The Child In Me

I just managed to catch the film "Julie and Julia" before it ceased showing. I went with my daughter Nicole. It was a great bonding movie for us both as there was much to relate to in this movie. My dear friend Gayle sent me an email saying she thought of me the whole way through the movie. Really Gayle, the whole way. Wow that is saying something.

My daughter's best friend, Pip, saw me later that day and said "Julia reminded me so much of you. You even look the same." And, yes, we do. I am rather tall with a mop of curly hair that I have been trying to tame my whole life. It's a battle I have lost and I am now resigned to allowing the waves to go wherever the hell they like. The funny thing is, now I don't seem to mind too much. Sometimes, shock horror, I even like the way they choose to flick out or over or under. Sticking straight up is still not on, so the odd pot of hair jel has to come to the rescue sometimes.

I actually did not know very much about Julia Child, (forgive me please I'm Australian), however I had heard about her and I'd read some of her many famous quotes. I think I even used a couple in one of my cooking classes a few years ago.

I adore Meryl Streep. Strangely enough, so does Nicole and Pip, which is really saying something for a couple of sweet and sexy 19 year olds. They also absolutely love and adore Audrey Hepburn, but now I am really getting off the track.

Meryl Streep who played Francesca in 'Bridges of Madison County' absolutely touched me to the core. Her performance in that movie and indeed her character, has made this my all time favourite movie. So yeah, I like Meryl. Her portrayal of Julia was incredible. I actually found myself relating a little more to Julia than I care to admit. I felt the boredom of 'what to do' with my life. I felt the excitement of creating a recipe and seeing the wonderful expressions of gratitude and satisfaction ooze from the faces of those I love. I felt the hard work involved in pursuit of a dream, a mission, a goal.

I adored her "secrecy" and the guarding of her recipes. Oh how I laughed. I've well and truly been there. Infact I have been down right mean in not giving away some of my 'famous' recipes which I now have no trouble in posting about so that all the world can see. Are you out there world? My Danish Pastries really are the bomb! Sorry to all you ladies who begged for that recipe. Gosh I was mean. Gee "gosh" was another word Julia used rather often. Hmm.

But apart from Julia and the wonderful Meryl, I also loved the story of Julie. Anyone who is a food blogger would surely understand. This movie was made for us.

In recognition of Julia's thorough and comprehensive recipes, I have enclosed my recipe for aioli which I have attempted to explain in detail. There really is a knack to making a "mayonnaise" and so many recipe books have let me down in the past. Sure you can bung it all in the food processor but this is one of those recipes where "handmade with love" makes all the difference. If you have any questions, make sure you ask me so I can hopefully clarify. Julia would have loved that.


(For best results ensure all ingredients are at room temperature)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
100 ml pure olive oil
100 ml light olive oil
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
Fine sea salt & cracked pepper

• Smash garlic with some salt in a mortar & pestle; set aside.

• Pour oils together in a pouring bottle with a fine nozzle.

• Warm a bowl by placing hot water in it for a few minutes. Dry quickly. Sit over another bowl with some hottish water in it, a little like using a double boiler. By doing this I find I eliminate that "raw" egg taste that can sometimes dominate. My aioli may appear rather 'yellow' because my egg yolk is almost orange. Remember I have very healthy free range chooks and they reward me with bright eggs. Also the dijon mustard is brownish in colour and also contributes to a more 'coloured' aioli.

• Put yolk, mustard & juice in warm bowl; begin to whisk immediately.

• Add droplets of oil & thoroughly whisk till ½ of the oil has been used.

• Continue whisking in oil, now in a thin but steady stream until it has all been incorporated.

• Add garlic, season further with salt & pepper to taste. I added half a teaspoon of castor sugar. If you choose to do this, whisk well till the sugar is dissolved.

• If you prefer your aioli to have a thinner consistency, add a spoonful of warm water at the end. I do.

• Aioli is perfect to eat with carrots, asparagus, zucchini, celery, snowpeas, crudités.

• Pat dry dipping vegetables that are moist such as cucumber & tomatoes or the aioli will slip straight off when dipping.

1. This recipe may take 15min to prepare. Get ready to sweat a little!
2. Some countries like Spain use extra virgin olive oil, however I find it is too strong and overpowering. For me an aioli should be tangy but subtle without that dominating “olive” taste.
3. You may use 100% light olive oil if desired. I often do.
4. For added variety try an aioli with vinegar instead of lemon juice, more or less garlic, 1 or 2 tbsp shredded basil or chopped continental parsley.

Aioli keeps well sealed in jar in the fridge for up to 7 days.

I was really pleased with my aioli; the balance of flavours was perfect for me. It worked really well with my salad leaves, red onion, smoked salmon and squeeze of lime juice. Hmmm. Really, really nice and really, really 'real'.

Have a go. It's all Child's play.


  1. Hahaha, Oh mother, indeed. I do love this post, just as I loved seeing Julie & Julia with you!
    It really was quite an experience, thankyou Ma.
    Your photo's are looking very nice also, I should like to try this aioli myself if I may! :)
    And I do recognise that yellow bowl there, haha.
    Love Nicka, x.

  2. Why thank you for dropping by stranger. What a pleasant surprise. You don't have to travel far - simply open the fridge and it is the stuff in the yellow bowl right next to the avocado dip in the black bowl. Hehe.

  3. Oh! Finally the recipe!
    This would have helped 2 years ago when I first attempted to make Aiolo. My experience was so awful, I pretty much vowed I would never attempt it again.
    I remember picking a lemon from outside, squeezing it, only to have seeds drop into the oil mixture; picking out the seeds; adding a yolk and mixing for sometime only to find it didn't combine; adding some Kraft Mayonnaise and garlic; sitting down to watch a movie and being so disgusted with my Aioli that I had to bin it. Yes, Mama, I was bitterly disappointed.

    But here we are - a proper recipe I can follow. Saturday might see a re-try. :) Thanks!
    (Although... I might just pop in the fridge and pinch the yellow bowl.)

    In addition to the above ramble, I'm super excited about seeing your movie. Now that you say, you DO look a lot like Meryl's character. How delightful! :)

  4. What an amusing post!So you look like Julia!? That's nice to know. :) I too was very mean about recipes ...refusing to share those that I treasured but time made me good and I feel gracious enough to share them now. :)

    That aioli looks to die for! How lucky you are to have a farm? Am I correct in assuming that? Forgive me if i'm wrong. But nothing like fresh homegrown/bred ingredients. Nothing beats that!

    TQ for sharing such a wonderful recipe n your secrets to a perfect aioli :)

    I have yet to watch the movie...I cant understand why its taking so long to arrive here :( but i'm looking 4ward to it.My daughter promised to watch it with me too!

    Have a good day!

  5. I missed you not being with us when we saw the movie Issy. Like the "David Gray" gig, you shall have to see it without me. Grrrr. I'm still not over that one.

    I actually remember that time when I came home and saw you spewing away about your 'aioli' attempt. One of your main issues my dear is 'patience'. Some recipes simply cannot be 'zapped' in a minute and for me, this is one of those recipes. I look forward to hearing about your next attempt. Take your time darla, and see how you go. If you stuff up, don't worry. We all have at one time or another. It is simply a part of the learning to cook journey. Love mama.

    Oh I'm so pleased you enjoyed this post zurin. It would seem we have a bit in common. Hanging onto "those" recipes for dear life and then "exposing" them for all to see. So funny.

    Yes indeed we have a farm. We bought it almost three years ago. The farm at that time was completely neglected, overgrown, wild and woolly. I wish we had taken some photos of it at the time, but it was so ugly. However my Hubby had a 'vision'. He could see the potential in the place and for the last three years he has spent every spare second out there working, clearing, spraying, excavating, bulldozing, building and what would have taken a 'normal' person ten years to achieve he has done already.
    Stay tuned for an upcoming post about his latest project - building our bridge.

    Enjoy the movie - especially with your daughter!