Nan’s Mayo

My Nan never flew on a plane.  She didn’t drive, ever use a computer or live to see mobile phones.  And I don’t think she ever ate real mayonnaise.  And she had no time for any of that nonsense.  She was like that, and I loved her for it.  To that end, I don’t think I ever had real mayonnaise, not out of a jar, until I was in my 20’s.  And my impression of real egg mayonnaise?  Meh.

Don’t hate me, I’m just being honest.

The thing is my experience of mayonnaise was my Nan’s mayonnaise.  This was the stuff that taught us to enjoy salad vegetables and iceburg lettuce, and prawns…not necessarily together, like a 70’s style prawn cocktail…just a big lettuce leaf folded around a dollop of this mayonnaise, or likewise a spoonful of mayo on your plate to swish the peeled prawns through.  Mmmmmmmm.  This mayo was so good, it inspired the first piece of work I ever had published that wasn’t in a school magazine.

This mayo is pure nostalgia, too easy and made straight from the pantry cupboard.  Yes, it probably is a Depression-Era recipe, sure to have been originally written on the inside of the condensed milk label, and Nan would have been the type to peel it off and slip it into her own handwritten recipe book that was ubiquitous with all housewives back then.  No, it is not real mayonnaise, not even close.  But I love it, like I love tinned Asparagus Mornay.  I love it like I love cupboard cheese.  I love it like I love fake Lemon Meringue Pie.  I just love it.

Nan’s Mayo


1 can sweetened condensed milk.

1/2 to 1 cup vinegar (to taste)

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together and taste until it pleases.  Cover and chill before using so flavours meld.  Stir before using to blend.  Will keep, covered in the fridge, for quite a while.

Disclaimer:  Stepford Husband hates this (shocker!) and indeed anything else that contains vinegar as an ingrediant.  He probably decided he didn’t like it when he walked into the kitchen and saw the vinegar bottle out on the bench.  But just to safe, start cautiously adding the vinegar a bit at a time until you get the blend you like.  This is a thoroughly flexible recipe though, as long as you start with minimum amounts initially.  If, however,  you’re the type of person who likes your fish ‘n’ chips doused in vinegar, you should have no problems whatsoever.  Plus it would be perfect for 70’s style Prawn Cocktail!

This post is linking with the lovely Beach Cottage.

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