It’s time to talk condiments. Because honestly, it’s not something that gets much thought. At least I for one take them for granted. So let’s talk… mustard.
If you’ve read my post on Weeds, there was the discovery in our garden that various ‘weeds’ were in fact only sort of weeds. They were allowed to grow and voilà, it turns out we are growing mustard. Lots of mustard. Which has made me feel rather gleeful. (Yup, sitting here on the sofa, typing this, duckling nestled into my scarf, big smile on my face.)
Sometimes in your head 2 and 2 simply doesn’t come together. Case in point, I cook with mustard seeds. A favourite go to recipe if I have some celeriac is Curried Celeriac Chips. (Just 4 ingredients: celeriac cut into chips, and a sautéed flavouring of butter, curry powder, and mustard seeds poured over. Bake.)
Let us not forget their use in making pickles, something we make each summer as we collect cucumbers from the garden. I also use whole grain mustard when cooking pork quite a bit. (Lather on a grain mustard and currant jelly to a pork chop. Sauté.) Also delicious in potato salad.
Lots and lots of use, but nary a real consideration about where mustard comes from. Until now. Oh now, I am getting truly excited as not only am I going to harvest my own mustard seeds, but also make my own whole grain mustards. Maybe even take a stab at Dijon style. The world is my mustard covered oyster. Hmmm, maybe, maybe not.
Turns out making mustard is really easy. You just needs the seeds, some water and vinegar.
And I have a perennial tarragon in my herb border. (Nope, had no idea this plant could and would come back each year. Yet another garden lesson learned.) A very real opportunity to make Tarragon Mustard, one of my favourite mustard flavour combinations.
So why isn’t everyone growing mustard in their garden? No idea. I for one would never have thought of it, if it hadn’t been a left alone to grow ‘weed’ in my garden. All because it has such a pretty yellow flower that blooms through much of spring. (Also edible.)
Now I just have to wait for it to die. Practising patience. And then I can harvest the seeds. Oh, and next year, now that I know what and where the plant is in my garden, it can also be harvested as mustard greens for salads. A truly amazing all around plant.
Seriously, why isn’t it in everyone’s garden?
But it does grow wild essentially everywhere, so go, take a walk and have a look. And then in autumn, go back and collect some seeds to plant in your own garden or at least to make your own mustard.