Growing and making things from the mustard plant at PumpjackPiddlewick

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.

2 Comments

  1. Please tell me exatly what is Celeriac ???? feeling a little left out !! Love this post on Mustard and am anxious to know the meaning of Celeriac I know what I think it sounds like but am to unsure to say out loud much less write!!!
    but want to find out and make some chips !! Have a wonderful Mustard Day Alycea from your across the water Friend Sarah!!

    1. Great question Sarah! Celeriac is part of the celery family. It looks rather like a very large turnip, except the bulb part is rather ugly. Sort of looks like a knot of wood. The greens taste like celery and in fact can be used similarly. It is the bulb that is the part used for making chips (french fries in the USA). Again, similar to a turnip, you slice away the rind, but in this case the rind is a bit thicker. Once peeled, you can then chop it in to chips/fries shape and bake. You can also mash.
      It has a hint of celery to the flavour, but is not so celery tasting as the leaves. It absorbs flavours very well, hence the curry and mustard seeds are so tasty with it.
      It’s a grat veg to know about if you prefer not to eat nightshades, eg potatoes, as it can be more or less used the same way as a potato, but imparting more flavour.
      It is a relatively easy veg to grow in a garden from seed, though it takes a while for the bulb to get big enough.
      More info and pictures on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celeriac
      Let me know if you find it where you live and try it. 🙂

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