Usually, local food is healthier and tastes better. This is also typically true of food made from scratch. In addition to the environmental impact, these are two of the major reasons we eat the way we do. There are times however, when neither of these is a factor.
In our house, we love mustard! We have tried mustards from all over and especially enjoy French mustards. We used to have our favorites shipped from France. These mustards taste great and many of them are perfectly healthy. Our desire to find mustard made locally, from locally grown seed, was based purely on the environmental aspects of our local eating plan.
There are quite a few companies in Oregon making mustard, but as far as we can tell, none of them use Oregon grown mustard seed. We know that lots of mustard is grown in Oregon, so we decided to find some seed and make our own. We already make our own ketchup, so it only seems right that we should expand our condiment repertoire.
Our friends at Hummingbird Wholesale were kind enough to give us some Ida Gold yellow mustard seed grown in North Powder, Oregon. We set to work researching various mustard recipes.
It turns out that mustard is incredibly simple. At its core, it is merely ground mustard seed mixed with liquid. Many recipes call for all sorts of additional ingredients, but we decided to start with a basic recipe. The first issue we had was grinding the seed. Since we don’t have a spice grinder, we used our teeny, tiny, mortar and pestle. Taking turns, we spent an hour grinding half a cup of mustard seeds into powder. Even then, the seeds were more crushed than powdered.
We mixed up half of our ground seed with white wine and half with water. We added some salt and some vinegar and let the mixtures stand overnight in the refrigerator. According to our research, freshly made mustard must not be eaten immediately because it is very bitter. The bitterness is supposed to disappear after several hours as a result of the chemical reaction between the mustard and the liquid. In the case of our mustard, this didn’t seem to work. Both batches had a bitter taste and still do. Our theory is that this is a result of incomplete grinding. We’re planning to buy a spice grinder before our next attempt.