Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise Saves Sea Turtles

Wildlife rescue workers in Florida have discovered that a common sandwich ingredient is perfect for cleaning toxic crude from the skin of oiled sea turtles. Can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with mayonnaise!

As most of you know, I’m a mayonnaise enthusiast and a staunch advocate of the life-saving power of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise saved the lives of Jewish children from the Nazis during World War II. Now mayonnaise is being used to save the lives of hundreds of gulf sea turtles from a crude black death. Beth Buczynski over at Crisp Green will tell you all about it: Common Condiment Helps Save Gulf Sea Turtles.

Mayonnaise: Is there anything it can’t do?

Hump Day

Oh boy! The emailman just delivered my very first correspondence!

Dear Grandpa Wiggly,

Why does my mommy call Wednesdays hump day?

Jessie
Portland, Oregon

Well Jessie, your mommy likely calls Wednesday “hump day” because Wednesday is the middle of the week. Assuming your mommy works the traditional Monday through Friday, Wednesday is the hump in the workweek. Once Wednesday has come and gone, you are over the hump and the rest of the week is downhill. Wheeeeee!

Now of course Wednesday is considered hump day if you look at your week from the five-day workweek perspective. In a seven-day week that begins with Monday, Thursday would technically be the hump. Wednesday would be the hump in a seven-day week that begins with the Sabbath. I should probably specify the Christian Sabbath, Sunday. Friday evening to Saturday evening is the Jewish Sabbath, which I guess would make Saturday night to Sunday night their Monday, and Tuesday night to Wednesday night their hump day. Unless they round up, which would make… This is too confusing. I should have just said Sunday instead of Sabbath and been done with it.

Mondays are just Mondays. Everybody hates Mondays! Unless of course your Mondays are part of your weekend. Sunday is Grandpa Wiggly’s Friday so that makes Monday and Tuesday my weekend. Mondays are so terrible that many businesses are closed. Hitler was born on a Monday, which back then they called Saturday in Austria–Hungary. Monday is usually when I make mayonnaise for the week, that’s why I call it Mayonnaise Monday! (Did you know mayonnaise saved kids from the Nazis? It’s true!)

My ill-tempered, one-armed wife, Effie, disagrees with the official Wiggly Calendar. Then again, her week consists of twice as many days on account of her bitterness and cattiness about everything and nothing. She follows the cat calendar, and I don’t mean those 16-month calendars of cuddly cute cat pictures that are sold in the mall around Christmas. I mean the feline calendar.

One cat year is equivalent to fifteen (!) human years. Once you factor in that cats have nine lives, I can’t even begin to fathom when cat hump day falls. That sounds like a task for Math. Or cats.

For Grandpa Wiggly, Wednesday is the first day of my week because, as all of you know grandchildren know, Wednesday is Wiggly Wednesday. That makes Saturday Grandpa Wiggly’s hump day, which makes today, Tuesday, my Sunday.

So, Jessie, now you know why your mommy calls Wednesday “hump day.” If I’m wrong and there happens to be another reason, I think that’s a conversation best left between the two of you. Thanks for writing!

Mr. Mayonnaise in the French Resistance

Adolph Hitler was not a lover of mayonnaise, which is really quite surprising considering mayonnaise is white and far superior to all other condiments. During World War II, Georges Mora [born Gunter Morawski in Leipzig in 1913] and French mime artist Marcel Marceau were refugee smugglers with the French Resistance. Mora observed German soldiers would never search sandwiches with mayonnaise for fear it would stain their uniforms. (Hitler was a bit of a Nazi when it came to uniforms.)

[Australian documentary filmmaker Philippe] Mora, 60, praised the bravery of his father and Marceau. ”Marceau told me this story about my dad being called Mr Mayonnaise in the French Resistance.”

His father, who had escaped from Germany after the book-burning, noticed German soldiers would never search sandwiches containing mayonnaise in case drips stained their uniforms.

So the Resistance wrapped the identity papers of Jewish children being smuggled over borders in greaseproof paper, smeared them with mayonnaise and inserted them into sandwiches.

Once again, mayonnaise saves lives. Is there anything it can’t do?

Read more on how mayonnaise sandwiches saved kids from Nazis.

Mayonnaise 911

Fellow redditor tsulahmi sent me this message regarding his mayonnaise:

Yesterday I attempted to make the mayonnaise you had discussed on your AmA thread, unfortunately it was not a success. It never thickened while I was making it and was a yellow color much darker than any mayo I have ever seen. I was hoping it would thicken in the fridge, but alas, all of the ingredients separated (oil on top, spices on the bottom, misc in the middle). I whisked it for quite a while (it took about a 1/2 hour to make) and even used an electric egg beater at one point hoping it would speed up the process. All of the ingredients were at room temperature when i started except for the eggs which were a little cook and the lard was cold (it had come out of the freezer about an hour beforehand).

Chances are he didn’t do anything wrong. Making perfect mayonnaise takes time and skill, and a whole lot of patience. My first failed attempt at making mayonnaise is legendary (just ask my wife). It took me several attempts to get it just right. Also keep in mind that the weather can have a lot to do with how your mayonnaise turns out. If it’s a rainy, humid day, mayonnaise can be just as stubborn as your hair. You always want to make your mayonnaise in a cool, dry place if possible.

Here are some pointers:

• For maximum mayonnaise making success, always start with room temperature ingredients.
• Beat your egg yolks separately until they are thick and appear sticky. Your oil is more easily emulsified that way.
• Add your oil very slowly, just a few drops at a time, beating well between each addition to avoid overwhelming the yolk and curdling the mixture. When the mixture starts resembling thick cream, the oil can be more easily absorbed by the egg yolks.
• Do not exceed half a cup of oil per egg yolk, at least initially. The chances of ruining your mayo increases with higher proportions of oil versus water (egg yolks are half water), and who wants to risk such a failure when you are just starting out?
• If you plan on using an electric mixer to make mayonnaise, beat your egg yolks with salt and lemon juice on low until the mixture is thick and sticky. Gradually add your oil, beating continuously on medium speed.

Eaglstun’s Mayonnaise

Twitter user @eaglstun and fellow redditor tweeted this picture of homemade mayonnaise (and ketchup — boring!) slathered all over delicious handmade cheeseburgers. It took him a few attempts to get it right, as it often does, but he got the hang of it. Soon he’ll be making mayonnaise in his sleep! Just look at this mouth-watering mayonnaise….

It’s amayonnazing!

Have you tried making your own Wiggly Mayonnaise at home yet? Email Grandpa Wiggly pictures of your mayonnaise or share them on Twitter (hashtags: #wiggly and #mayonnaise).