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July 13, 2006

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SOOOOO looking forward to the grand aioli! Last year was delicious. Friends of mine just returned from a visit to Provence and brought me an interesting dish: it's about the size of a very small saucer, a small bit more bowl-like than a saucer, with a pattern of raised ceramic nubs in the center. I believe it's for rubbing garlic. I'll bring it along.

Wonderful -- because we can't have a grand aioli without tons of garlic!

I want to hear more!! How long did it take you to make the aioli by hand? Have you tried any other ways?

I'm quite jealous that I don't live closer to share in the fun, friends and food

amities, Debra

Debra, welcome to Ninecooks. Please check back here on Monday -- our Grand Aioli is this weekend, and I'll report! Last year we tried three methods: totally by hand; totally in the food processor; and an aioli that was started in the processor and finished by hand (the least successful method, in terms of taste of the final product). This year we will do some by hand (it takes at least 45 minutes to make a large mortar-full....and the fun is that everyone takes a turn with the pestle), and some by machine. We're feeding 14 people, so we need lots of aioli.

I thought both aioloi's were great. The handmade version in the mortar and pestle was very pungent and had much more garlic. The food processor version used a pinch of saffron and much less garlic and was a bit sweeter -- but the garlic flavor came through.

The variety of meat, fish, beans, olives and vegetables to dip in aioli was wonderful and it's always a great night when the men cook !

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