Recipe: Simple Syrup For Iced Tea

by Anne Maxfield on July 8, 2010

Accidental Locavore Iced TeaThe Accidental Locavore loves drinking ice tea in the summer, well actually year round. The problem is always that I like to have a little sugar in my tea, but it never really dissolves well. Recently, over lunch with a friend of mine at Recipe where they serve their ice tea with a small pitcher of simple syrup & the proverbial light bulb went off over my head.

For those of you not familiar with simple syrup, it’s just sugar dissolved with water, and heated until the sugar melts into the water.

You use equal parts sugar to water, I’ve been doing a cup of each. Now, where it gets fun, is what you add to the syrup. My first attempt was to add 1/2 a vanilla bean, which was delicious. This afternoon I experimented with some lemon peel and fresh mint from my garden. Currently the mint is a little assertive, but I think the lemon peel will mellow out with a little time.
Give it a shot and let me know how you flavor it.



Recipe: My Dad’s No Fail Mayo

by Anne Maxfield on May 3, 2010

Accidental Locavore MayoThe Accidental Locavore never buys mayonnaise anymore because it’s so easy to make, and once you’ve had homemade mayo, you’re spoiled for life. The only downside (if there could possibly be one) is that, like ice cream, you learn exactly what’s in it. As Kerry, chef from one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Miranda would say it’s an extremely efficient fat delivery system…but yummy!
My dad taught me a long time ago how to make mayo, so here is his no-fail mayo. This makes about a cup.

  • 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • (optional: 1 small clove of garlic, herbs like tarragon etc.)
  • About 1 cup canola or any vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Accidental Locavore MayonnaiseIn the bowl of a food processor (blender, or stick blender will work) add the egg yolk, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic and salt. Process a few times until well mixed. With the motor running, very slowly pour in about a cup of oil. You need to be patient or the mayo will separate. As you keep pouring you will see it start to thicken and then thin out a little. When it’s your desired texture, stop, and taste. Correct seasonings and you’re done. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Once you’ve had homemade mayo and realize how easy it is to make, you’ll never buy it again. The other advantage is that you can add whatever seasonings-herbs, garlic, spices, you want. Tarragon is great in it, especially for chicken salad. We usually add a small clove of garlic and I like it a little lemony. And after you’ve made it a few times, you can give hollandaise sauce, aioli and remoulade a try. The secret to any of these is to get an emulsion so always add the oil in a slow stream.