It's Mustard Season. REALLY!
Like everyone else in the north, I get itchy for spring. As a Chef, for me that means I get excited thinking about – and waiting patiently for – all those wonderful things that will be peeking through the soil in a few weeks. Things like rhubarb, asparagus, chives, spring onions, and peas. They are the first stars of the garden to appear every year.
This year is no exception – I’ve sprouted my seeds indoors, cleaned all my tools, and put my garden boots by the back door. But while I’m ready, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be cooperating. It’s the end of April, and we still have a ton of snow on the ground. Perhaps under the snow the rhubarb and chives are struggling to reappear; but I can’t tell because I can’t get out into the garden. Sounds like a cruel joke, doesn’t it?
But enough complaining! Every year I’m anxious. And every year it seems to take longer than I think it should. So several years ago I started a new tradition to keep myself happy and get my spring culinary juices flowing again. I call it Mustard Season. It’s the season when I make all sorts of wonderful mustards to use in the months ahead.
This year, Mustard Season starts today! Today I’m going to start a few batches of home made mustard: Cranberry Mustard, Lavender Mustard, Champagne Mustard, and Beer Mustard. Chimichurri Mustard and Casablanca Style. Whole Grain and smooth mustards. If the snow lasts long enough, who knows what other kinds of mustard I’m going to create.
When it comes to mustard, I guess I’ve become something of a snob. I mean, I like a good Dijon as much as the next guy. And I always keep some of the bright yellow mustard on hand because my family loves it on brats and hot dogs. But otherwise, I’m not satisfied to serve just any store-bought mustard.
In the past, I’ve encouraged you to start creating your own condiments. Things like Tomato Jam, Onion Jam, and Chimichurri Sauce can make a big difference in your culinary life and the creations that flow from it. Homemade mustard does the same. It goes well beyond being just another condiment to serve at the table. There’s nothing like some of the sauces you’ll be able to make using your own mustard – sauces like our Creamy Fig Sauce.
Your sandwiches will never be the same once you’ve started pairing things like fresh Cranberry Sauce with your own Champagne Mustard. Baked Beans will no longer be just another side dish when you spike them with your own mustard.
I encourage you to get started now. Don’t wait for the right “season.” You can make mustard anytime. If you’re in need of recipes, check out some of ours at www.morninstarkitchen.com.
As for me, I’m planning to spend much of this week making mustard. I’ll then process and store my creations to use until Mustard Season next year. And when I’m done, who knows? Maybe the snow will have melted and I can head out to the garden! Won’t that be wonderful!?!
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