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by Christina Da Costa
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*Adapted from A
mustard on a sandwich, plus a cold beer equals happy taste buds, so why
not combine the two? Making fancy mustard is easy and much cheaper than
buying that $8 jar from the gourmet food shop. If your local supermarket
or health food store doesn't carry mustard seeds, check out Penzey's.
The prices are more than reasonable, the spices fresh, and a little bit
of mustard goes a long way.
1/2 cup brown mustard
¾ cup flat beer (try not to use Bud)
1 Tbsp. mustard flour
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
2 tsps. dried thyme
1 tsp. basil
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Soak the seeds in the
beer overnight. Twenty minutes before you're ready to make mustard, stir
the mustard flour, minced onion and herbs into the soaked seed mixture
and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the mustard mixture to a
blender (or food processor) along with the vinegar and salt. Grind until
it's the consistency of a paste, with some seeds remaining visible.
Transfer to sterilized jars (however many you can fill), cap tightly and
refrigerate 4-5 days before giving so that the flavors get a chance to
mellow. This will last for 2 months, refrigerated.
with sweet teeth
sugar imparts a touch of elegance to morning coffee or baked goods, and
smells wonderful. It's also the easiest thing in the world to make;
simply take a nice canister and fill it halfway up with white sugar.
Stick a whole vanilla bean pod or two in the middle and then fill it up to the top. Seal it up in a
nice jar or tin and let sit for at least two weeks (or tell friend not
to use it for two weeks, make a little note and attach it). The best
part about this sugar is that as long as you keep the vanilla bean in
the jar and replenish the sugar, you have vanilla sugar. Pretty neat,
huh? You might want to let your recipient know that fun-fact as well.
Vanilla sugar imparts a great flavor to pancakes, French toast and
anything else that requires sugar (it can also take the place of ¼ tsp
of vanilla extract).
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