Monday, February 13, 2023

I Hope the Aliens Like Mustard

Sooooo....anyone else feel like we are living the real world version of Independence Day yet? I don't know what to think, but I do know that, if the situation occurs, I won't be hanging out on top of any tall buildings with a welcome sign. That seems overly needy; better to play it cool, like yo, 'sup?

Anyhoodle, while the good people of Montana and Canada were on UFO watch, I was practicing denial by baking. I made another loaf of bread, and, since I was already in the kitchen, I decided to try my hand at homemade mustard. Because I saw it on TikTok, you see. In between all the videos of Doomsday Prophesies, naturally.

So, how do you make mustard and why is it superior to simply cracking open a bottle or jar of the store stuff? Because it is; you're just going to have to trust me on this.

I made two different types of mustard: smooth yellow and grainy brown. I got both the yellow and brown seeds on Amazon.

The brown mustard recipe required an overnight soaking in a water and vinegar solution; a mustard douche, if you will (yeah, I went there). You can use any type of vinegar, so I pulled what I had on hand out of the pantry. Folks? I didn't realize I had so many options; the time to further purge the pantry is nigh.

I finally settled on a batch made with red wine vinegar, for which I used this ancient bottle of organic Rao's, unearthed from the very deepest, darkest regions of the pantry. Since vinegar doesn't spoil, I figured using a vintage bottle wouldn't kill us.

For the second batch, I used this super-bougie Prosecco white wine vinegar. I think I purchased it originally for homemade salad dressing, which I clearly never made since it was unopened and unused. I tend to do that, a lot.

The first step is to add equal portions of yellow and brown seeds into jars. I used the wax-paper funnel method for this.

Once the seeds are in the jars, you add water and vinegar and allow the seeds to set overnight, or longer, so the seeds can absorb the douche liquid. 

With that done, I turned my attention to the yellow mustard, which required a different technique and more ingredients, including paprika, onion powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, and turmeric.

The recipe also requires that the mustard seeds be ground into powder (you can also purchase ground mustard for this recipe, but it is more expensive, and, while far less time consuming, generally a whole lot less fun). I used my trusty Ninja for the blending of the seeds.

Once the seeds are ground, you add them to the spices in a saucepan over low heat, pour in some water, and a tablespoon of honey, and whisk for about 30-40 minutes.

When the time is up, add apple cider vinegar (any vinegar will do), and continue to cook for another few minutes.

I had a cute kitchen helper; you might want to get one, too.

If the mustard seems too thick, whisk in water, a little at a time, until you reach your preferred consistency.

Allow to cool to room temperature, then place in jars. Mustard will keep in the fridge for up to six months. Also, mustard can be bitter on it's birthday (direct quote from the Mustard Lady on TikTok), so let it mellow for a few days before you use it.

Once our mustard-making adventures were done, Mom and I went to Hooterville to take in a movie (Hugh was on the Front Range, at wrestling Regionals). We saw 80 For Brady and it was really cute. Very wholesome, funny, and just long enough for old people to sit in theater seats, according to Mom.

Sunday afternoon, I finished the brown mustard, which had been brining for a full 24 hours, so the seeds were nice and swollen.

The process was pretty simple: drain off most of the liquid and discard (it will be bitter). Add seeds and a splash of fresh vinegar to a blending appliance (I tried to use my Kitchenaid mini, but the damn thing refused to work, so I ended up going with Plan B, which was my Ninja. The Ninja was up to the task, but it took longer than the mini would have taken. Looks like momma needs a new mini). Blend to desired consistency, adding vinegar as needed.

Scoop into jars and refrigerate for several days to mellow before using.

Each of my recipes made a large enough batch for sharing, which is how I intend to use my mustard.

On a totally different note, since I've been spending so much time in the kitchen, I decided to give my larger Kitchenaid mixer a make-over. I purchased decals on Amazon and went to town. I'm happy with the result (also, if you're starting to think that I am overly spoiled in the kitchen appliance arena, you would be correct. This is what happens when one's husband owns a hardware store; appliances for every gift-giving occasion!).

And, that wraps up the first weekend of the alien invasion, if that is indeed what's happening. Anyone have that on their 2023 Doomsday Bingo card? A straight Bingo wins you a jar of mustard; yellow or brown, your choice!

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