Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Mighty Mid-May Mustard Experiment

Have you ever thought about making your own mustard? You know, the spread of champions; the stripe for your hot dog; the squirt of devil for your boiled eggs.....
It's much easier than pie, and here's how to do it~

Place equal amounts of mustard seeds and vinegar in a jar, along with a peeled, halved clove of garlic. I use 1/2 cup seeds to 1/2 cup vinegar. Cover the jar and let it sit for a day or two in the refrigerator. This allows the mustard seeds to plump and soften, as well as absorb some of the lovely garlic flavor. When you are ready to "prepare" your mustard, and you have about 5 minutes to spare, discard the garlic cloves and scrape the remaining seed-sludge into your blender. Add 1/4 -1/2 tsp. salt, 2-3 TBS water, and a good sized blob (maybe a tablespoon) of honey. Blend it to smithereens, or until it becomes pasty, which ever comes first. Last of all, store it in a lovely upcycled mustard crock - or a jar of your choice! in the fridge and use within a couple of months.

This time, I used balsamic vinegar and dark mustard seeds, so the resulting mustard spread is dark brown. You can also leave out the sweetener, and use yellow mustard seeds and apple cider vinegar for a more "traditional" Dijon-style mustard. Any way you make it, people seem to think home made mustard is exotic - even better, it tastes yummy!

Much has been accomplished this week - for the first time in months!! I am happy to report that my stamina and ability to remain in the game is coming back. "Recovery" from the great hormonal disasters of '08 and '09 has been a slow, incremental road, and finally progress can be seen :-)
This week, the garden is beginning to sprout - baby carrot tops are unfurling, beets are beginning to wave little green flags, and the bok is choi-ing. We have had various fruits in the yard, but this year added more, so in our little "Urbane Farm" here in the Rattlesnake Valley, we have 2 apple trees, a cherry tree, apricot tree, plum tree, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, choke-cherries, elderberries, and rhubarb (of course! scads of rhubarb!!).

The other trees and bushes have been growing for years, but here are the two new, "Columnar" Apple Trees- see those two rather non-descript sticks planted amid the flowers? There they are! One's a Golden and the other a variation on Red Delicious. They are dwarf varieties, and should only get about 6-8 feet tall. The apples grow about the trunk and the "branches" remain pretty smallish and bud-like. Likely they will only flower this year, but next, we'll have apples for crisp :-)

1 comment:

Knit Witch said...

Excellent! Funny, I had a dream about mustard last night! Weird.....