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Print this Recipe    First thing I did was pick up 2 cases of jelly jars at Dollar General

for 6 bucks. They also had Golden Harvest pectin at a buck a box, so I
picked up three of those for future use. Then, over to Weaver Street,
the place whose prices on spices are making this a fairly inexpensive
project. Mustard seeds, both brown and yellow, weigh about the same as
an equal volume of water - so the average of 1/2 cup per jar (8-ounce
jelly jar) is 4 ounces. At 22 cents an ounce, that makes for about
(duh) 88 cents worth per jar. Mustard powder weighs about 2/3 as much
per volume as the seeds. Most recipes that also use seeds (all the
ones I've made so far, except for the one I made for the habanero
sauce) use about 1/4 cup per 8-ounce jar - or about 30 cents worth.
Remaining ingredients can vary according to cost - high for wines,
beers, or specialty vinegars - but most are small amounts found in the
pantry or spice shelf - such as brown sugar, nuts, ground spices,
garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs. I am mentally going through all this,
and I hope you'll allow me to indulge myself, because I want to charge
a fair price for the 24 jars, but I don't care to itemize the whole
routine. Throw in a quarter for the jar and I think a buck-fifty per
jar would be a fair cost. After all, some of these are going to people
who are friend of mine as well.

Some little things I've learned...a food processor is not a great
place to grind mustard seeds, but it will get the job done eventually.
I learned not to mix dry powder and seeds because the powder will just
cake up on the bottom. I spin the seeds a few minutes to crack them
slightly - they hardly look ground at all for a minute or two, then
add the liquid and they crack up as fine as you'd like. It doesn't
matter if the mustard is a bit thick, you can always correct it before
the final bottling. I did notice that the food processor introduced a
lot of air into the mustard, which gets trapped there. That's no big
deal unless you plan to age it in a Tilia-sealed quart jar, as I do.
The air in the mustard causes it to creep up the jar and under the
seal! No big deal, it only has to live that way for a week. I'll had
mix for the final bottling and most of the air will be gone, allowing
it to seal without making a mess.

I've made two mustards so far, one yesterday, another this morning
when I got up to "feed" the smoker (it's got those habs in there and,
boy, do they smell good - even though they were dehydrated before they
hit the smoker). The process is so simple it hardly bears mentioning -
you just mix everything together in a blender or food processor, then
put it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. As I said, and now repeat,
you'd have to be Jeanne Dixon to know how thick this stuff will be
after it "cures" a week or so, so that's why I give it a week in the
big jar, add appropriate liquid (same as used in the recipe) as
necessary, then bottle it for the long term. Here's yesterday's
mustard:

BEER MUSTARD

3/4 cup brown mustard seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 cup mustard powder
4 allspice berries
4 juniper berries
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 cup beer (I used Samuel Smith's Pale Ale)
1 teaspoon salt

Yield: 1 cup

Here's the one I just made:

TARRAGON MUSTARD

1/4 cup finely-ground yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup mustard powder
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used red - the tarragon made me do it)
1/2 cup water (I did half-and-half with some wine!)
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons dried tarragon OR
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon

1 clove garlic (I used more)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

I'm going to an oriental food store today in search of the elusive
black mustard seeds, which makes for a mighty hot mustard. They may
not have them. Big Government Paternalism has already dictated that
black mustard oil, if you can get it at all, be labeled "FOR EXTERNAL
USE ONLY". That's not because it's hot, it's because it is quite
poisonous until it is heating up to the smoking point. I have yet to
find black mustard seeds and I suspect that an offshoot of these
creeping paternalism is to blame. So, if you want to kill anyone or
just yourself, you'll have to stick to less exotic methods such as rat
poison, strychnine, high-level open windows, buying a Pinto, or
locating Jack Kevorkian.

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