Posted by: briellethefirst | August 15, 2011

Mustard


Mustard seed

Mustard seed

Both black (Brassica nigra) and white or yellow (Brassica hirta) mustard can be grown in your garden and prepared in your kitchen. They’re related to cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli and have the same needs and pests. The flower stalks can grow as high as your head, so keep this in mind when placing it in your garden. Harvest the seeds when the pods are tan and dry. I only grew it once because I found out that when I harvest it my hay fever acts up something fierce! Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of the plants, but they bear a striking resemblance to radishes when they flower.

Powdered mustard

Powdered mustard

Mix powdered or coarsely ground black and/or white seeds with various liquids and herbs to make the familiar condiment. Use whole or ground seeds in sauces, cheeses, dredging flour and vegetables. Use whole seeds pickles, relishes, sausages and various types of vinegars. The young leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach.

Some of the liquids used to prepare mustard are wine, juice, vinegar, water, beer and sherry. Ground herbs including turmeric, paprika, saffron, garlic, onion and horseradish are used as well as honey, oil, sugar and salt. Turmeric gives hot dog mustard its bright yellow colour.

To mix your own start with 1/4 c ground mustard seed to about 3 Tbsp liquid. Mix in a mortar and pestle if you have one, but if you don’t you can use a bowl and spoon. Add herbs, honey and liquid to taste. Be careful adding liquid, it’s easier to thin the mustard than to thicken it. Black mustard is stronger than white mustard and horseradish heats it up, too. Oil, sugar and honey help tone the heat down. Experiment in small batches until you find a few mixtures you like and store in jars in the fridge.

Mustard has been used medicinally in plasters, baths and alcohol rubs for headaches, rheumatic complaints and colds among other things but be careful because too much for too long can irritate and even burn the skin.

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