Sunday, December 4, 2011

Month of Mustards

I like the seasonal evolution of preserving. Spring and summer were all about fruit. And fresh veggies made into pickles. Fall so far has included some pears, apples and quince (Tigress in a Jam's Quince in Rose Syrup is pictured below), but suddenly heartier food beckons and savory items like mustards and onion jam are vying for my attention.

Oktobeerfest Mustard + Quince in Rose Syrup
So November became the month of mustard at my place. Turning to the trusted Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, I had my choice of recipes. Being half German of course the Oktoberfest Beer Mustard had to be first. It was a cinch to make and was pleased with my clever portmanteau naming: Oktobeerfest Mustard.

Mustard on the stovetop
Next I had to try the Lemon-Sage Wine Mustard. When making mustard the smell can a little strong and almost overpowering. In fact, I recommend you don't lean in too close while it's cooking – you'll get a lungful of vinegary fumes that will make you cough and splutter. But this one smelled divine as it cooked down! It also earned an extra star in my book, since we were out of white wine it forced me go out and stock up on booze. Cold nights require extra libations on hand, don't you agree?

Though I don't think it was the extra drinking, something had me feeling under the weather later in the month, I so made batches of my trusty fresh ginger + lemon + honey concoction that soothes even the scratchiest of throats. This meant I had a bunch of big pieces of ginger staring at me. So next up on the mustard train was the Ginger-Garlic Mustard recipe.

Three kinds of mustard and counting
It's December now and as I admire my stockpile, I want to make more! I haven't tried any of them yet since mustard needs a couple weeks to cure, but some will definitely make an appearance at our upcoming food swap, and the rest will be holiday gifts. (Shooting for all handmade this year!)

But before I move too far on to other things, should I make the last recipe in my book, Cranberry Mustard, or take my inspiration from something in Punk Domestic's recent mustard roundup? Hmmm, decisions, decisions. Perhaps I'll just do both...

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