It's kind of embarrassing to think that the entire dear family I married into is aware of my abhorrence for mayonnaise. They all love it, of course, as most normal people do. I used to think I could slide by without anyone really noticing that the virtually universally loved condiment is always noticeably absent from my hamburgers, or that I politely decline when my mother-in-law offers to make tuna salad sandwiches for a picnic. Thankfully, my brother-in-law adores tuna salad so much, I've never had to really worry about being obvious about my strange mayo-phobia while on family vacations.
Needless to say, in recent months, I've realized that there is no need for subtlety. They all know I hate the creamy white stuff. My SH teases me when he piles cole slaw on his plate, saying "This version doesn't have mayo, I promise!" My MIL sheepishly apologizes for the egg salad she made as a snack. My beloved sister-in-law actually agonized over whether or not I would be able to taste the insignificant amount of mayo present in the delicious curry sauce she made for one of our vacation dinners (for the record, I could not!). Multiple efforts have been made to create dressings and sauces with substitutes like sour cream and yogurt. They could probably all quote the story that I shared as an explanation for my loathing: When left to my own devices as a young child, I spent the whole of an afternoon devouring mayonnaise sandwiches that I made for myself. I sat at my Strawberry Shortcake table with a pile of sandwiches, mayo slathered on white bread, eating happily. The absence of any positive mayonnaise memory after that time leads me to believe that I must have gotten dreadfully sick from overeating. My mother does not recall this event and has often expressed doubt of its veracity, but I have assured her that it's true. My four-year-old memory is quite clear.
I've tried to overcome my distaste, but there's nothing to be done. I simply cannot tolerate mayonnaise. I might as well accept it. Obviously, my family has! Hopefully, I can make up for it with contributions like this heavenly pesto potato salad, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, my fave food blogger. I brought the salad to our 4th of July celebration yesterday, and even though my seasoning left something to be desired (I've been having quite the struggle with the appropriate amount of salt lately!), I think it was quite good. The way I feel about pesto is comparable to the way I feel about gruyere cheese and anything with a crust. I could eat it by the bucket, with pasta, spread over a grilled portobello, smeared over a toasted slice of baguette...clearly, my feelings about pesto could not be more opposite than my feelings about mayo.
Since my photography skills leave something to be desired, check out SK's fabulous pictures and the full recipe here. It was a perfect, simple summer dish, and I definitely plan on making it again.
P.S. You should know that my culinary icon of choice, Rachael Ray, does NOT love mayo either. We're culinary soulmates, Rach and I.