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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

11.10.2005

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good enough to eat edible holiday gift ideas by Christina Da Costa | 1 2 3 4 5 6
continued from page 2

beer & herb mustard* 
*Adapted from A Pinch Of
Spicy 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.

ingredients
1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
cup flat beer (try not to use Bud)
1 Tbsp. mustard flour
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
2 tsps. dried thyme
1 tsp. basil
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.

for those with sweet teeth
vanilla sugar
Vanilla 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 tsp of vanilla extract).

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