Love, Work & Mayo


Freud famously said that all one needs for true happiness is love and work. I would wholeheartedly agree with him with one simple addition: mayonnaise.

Sounds shallow at first I’m sure, but think about it, love… love of family, love of friends and of course, the ever-elusive romantic love… for sure love is needed for true happiness. Work… meaningful work, leaves us fulfilled and gives us a sense of purpose. It is indeed an essential factor for happiness.

Love, blissful work, and a shiny dollop of creamy, white mayonnaise is all I need to be happy. I know… very white bread of me.

I was raised in a big family of added-fat lovers, butter and mayonnaise being at the top of the list. As a matter of custom, each night my grandmother would place a stack of freshly baked white bread and a crock of room temperature butter at the head of the dinner table. The bread sat to the left of my grandfather, who slathered it with butter and took alternating bites of roast with gravy and buttered bread. This is a man who would line a cookie sheet with that same white bread and place it under the broiler pan when grandma broiled steaks. He would take the fat-soaked bread to the table and have it as a side dish. And this is also a man who lived a long and active life to the age of ninety-two.

Well, the apple sure doesn’t fall far from the tree. When I roast a chicken, and don’t have plans for pan gravy, I always sit my trussed bird on a couple heels of bread in the bottom of my Dutch oven. The bird is stuffed with onions and garlic and lacquered in butter, salt and pepper. Once the bird is roasted and removed, the bread becomes a chewy, crispy salty, fatty crouton floating atop the chicken soup I am going to make the next day…if…it makes it that long, that is!


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