I was having a show jumping lesson the other night, and as we left a plate of sandwiches and a coffee to our coach, he said that his mother use to say “Hunger makes the best sauce”. I had never heard of this saying before and was very struck by it.
Apparently this phrase was used as a campaign slogan, for those who strived for a republic as opposed to a monarchy. Traditionally the monarchy, and associated aristocrats ate well, dined with ingredients rare and then sought after, salt for the salty appetizers; spices or meat stock for the sauces; and honey or sugar for the sweet things . Encouraging banquets of epic proportions that were a complete opposite of the “people”.
Thus this unbridled appetite becomes twofold: a physical appetite for these foods whose delicious tastes kept diners eating past the point of satisfaction; and an economic appetite for those ingredients, many of which were not available within the state. Making people greedy. It meant that either they spent money beyond state boundaries, emptying coffers. Or just as bad, it made them want more territory, propelled them into war against their neighbours.
In a republic, so they (republicans) argued, the people should listen to their natural appetite. They should dine on good, simple, food from their own region, stopping when they reached satiety, not on food gussied up with sauces that made them continue eating long after hunger (their natural appetite) had been satiated. Or, in other words, they should recognize that hunger was the best sauce.
At risk of going on and on, I think I’ll call a halt there! So while contemplating the historical reference to sauce, I decided to post the recipe for my favourite mother sauce- mayonnaise. Although it takes a bit of arm wrestling, it bears no resemblance to, as Darina would put it- a well known brand. Worth the effort, every time.
Serve it with everything, except maybe porridge…
Mayonnaise- The Mother Sauce
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of English mustard
1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar
175ml sunflower oil
50ml olive oil
Method: Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the mustard (optional), salt and the white wine vinegar. Put the oil into a measuring jug. Take a whisk in one hand and the oil in the other and drip the oil onto the egg yolks, drop by drop whisking at the same time. Within a minute you will notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken. When this happens you can add the oil a little faster. Taste and add a little more seasoning or vinegar if necessary.