Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another Condiment Demistified

It doesn't look like much now, but wait until a week from now! You'll all be jealous of my red wine mustard. The boy and I were talking about what things we like to have in the fridge and pantry and how we can make them without so many additives, high-fructose corn syrup being the main additive we want to cut out. Our list includes ketchup, mustard, jam, and pickles. We also love having sauerkraut on hand - it makes the perfect fast food when paired with bread and bockwurst. Learning how to can was worth it just so we can have sauerkraut handy when our crock is empty.

Amazingly, mustard is easy! You just let your mustard seeds soak in the acid of your choice, then you grind it all up. You can add spices, or not. Because the mustard gods were smiling down on me, I happened to have all the ingredients in the pantry. Yeah!

I've been warned my several websites that it will taste positively nasty the first time it is all ground up and that resting period of at least a week is needed to mellow out the flavors. We'll see if I can resist.

Today, we took a bike ride down to the local farmers' market to pick up some more ketchup ingredients. Biking in our neighborhood isn't trivial, however, since it means committing to a hill climb or two. To fortify myself for the climb back up to our house, I stopped by Stash and loaded up on sock yarn. It's light yarn, so it wasn't a bother at all. ;)

The yarn in the back is Trekking Pro Natural (it has bamboo!) and the one in the front is Schaefer Anne. Both are going to be magically transformed by elves, or me, into Christmas gifts.

Ack! I better start knitting!


  1. WOW! I must know how that mustard turns out! You guys are just figuring out the secret to life, one recipe at a time.

    That sock yarn is so pretty! Twenty bucks says that you'll have another pair knit up before I've even decided what to do with my pitiful sock from hell....

  2. that mustard sounds absolutely yummy. and that yarn is gorgeous.

  3. Oh yeah, I need to know how the mustard turns out, too. Every time I've tried to make mustard, it's burnt the crap out of me and I ended up tossing it out. I need a tried and true recipe!

    The sock yarn looks wonderful! Did you have a pattern in mind when you bought it or did the color make you get it? I'm such a sucker for color. I buy my favorite colors with no idea of what I'll make with it.

  4. YUM! That sounds so good! Can't wait to see what those delicious yarns turn into, as well.

    PS. I just awarded you with the Arte Y Pico award over on my blog!

  5. I picked the yarns by their colors. Both skeins reminded me of the people I'm going to give them to.

  6. I've made homemade mustard for years. It's so much better than store bought. I have never tried red wine mustard, that will have to be next on my list. How much red wine do you add and does it completely replace the vinegar?

  7. Sorry, just noticed that you linked the recipe.

    To Kathleen, I always cook mine in a double boiler. No burning that way.

  8. Hm, the recipe I am using doesn't involve cooking the mustard. It just involves soaking the mustard seeds, and then blending them.

  9. I think you need a question and answer section on your blog. So many questions, about so many different topics.

    My current pressing question- how long can an opened container of ketchup stay in the fridge? I'm not a big ketchup eater- maybe 1 tbsp a week. Maybe I should make it in babyfood jars?

  10. If you make it and don't want to can it, yeah, save it in those small jars and freeze them. (Are the baby food jars from Kirby?)

    It's quite vinegary, so it should last awhile. Mine has been in the fridge for 3 weeks and it tastes fine and there aren't any signs of spoilage.

    Heh, I *try* to get to questions in the comments section, but sometimes I'm awful about responding or I respond to people in private emails.

  11. By "burnt the crap out of me", I meant that the mustard was so spicy-hot and strongly-flavored that I couldn't eat it. I haven't cooked mustard. I imagine cooked mustard fumes might run me out of the house!

  12. Ahem...pardon me...

    Do you have any, Grey Poupon?

    Thank you. :)

  13. Oh. My mustard didn't work out. Was way too peppery, and I don't think I managed to get the consistency right. There also seemed way too much liquid in the jar, so I didn't add it all in to the mixer after soaking - maybe that's where I went wrong.

  14. I'm sorry to hear that! Yeah, you have to add all of the liquid. It seems to watery at first, but the mustard thickens up as it sits. Also, I've read that keeping the newly blended in the refrigerator helps to cut down on the mustard's peppery bite.



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