mustard, of all things


now, now, now. why on earth would i prepare mustard, when i have jars upon various jars in my larder? i must admit i've once read the back of a mayonnaise jar while shopping for i forget what. certainly not mayonnaise. i make my own. how long does it take to make a tuna sandwich? it depends. a hellmann's/canned tuna version on rye can be done in under fifteen seconds. if, however, you start out making mayonaise from scratch and want to poach the salmon just so, it would take as long as you might care. 
the back-label of this mayonnaise jar encouraged me to make my own mustard. and i thought, well, why not? i was in the store and they had mustard seed of various sorts, white, brown and black. mustard powder from the yellow to the dark, ground very fine, medium and coarse. i  took home small amounts of each item in little brown bags, and was ready to experiment. 
i decided on the brown seed pellets for heat, the yellow to blend, a good amount of finely ground dark to round out the lot. i soaked the whole thing in a cup of pinot grigio and after about an hour, crushed half the mess in my mortar to a slurry consistency. my very vague recipe has the entire aggregate rest at room temperature overnight, then taste and adjust for details: would i want the mustard to be sweet i should add honey and cloves (good gawd), for a dijon-y kind of result add garlic and horseradish. for another version i might add a flat stout and thyme. but i'll leave it to you. the flavor direction can take you anywhere. in my research i've heard of folk adding raisins, no reason not to. me, i would shy away from such frivolity. nor would i consider whiskey, tabasco, onion, brown sugar, white sugar, lemon, oregano, paprica, pickle juice, needles to say: lovage and coriander, garlic powder, thyme, turmeric, fennel seed, various vinegars, assorted salts, though not the kind refreshing your feet after a long day. no candied violetts. definitely. taking the latter two aside, you could flavor your mustard virtually any way you wished. basics ought to be considered best from the onset. mine are, for what it might be worth to you:

about eight tablespoons of mustard seed, brown preferred, or mixed
a third cup of dark mustard powder
three tablespoons sherry vinegar
half a cup of dry white wine, i used pinot grigio
one tablespoon sel du mer


it might be of interest that ye ol' romans did mustard, what didn't they do? personally i like the name 'brassica nigra' for black mustard. 'süsser senf' is the bavarian kind, on the sweet side, but excellently condimented onto fresh 'weiss würst'. if i had to import a mustard i would fedex a case of 'düsseldorfer löwen senf' to my very kitchen. it is hothothot, the kind i would slather onto a prosciutto cotto and butter sandwich. but until fedex gets here i'll use my very own concoction. the kind which is almost as hot, though not as smooth, but rough and coarse, the way i like it, certainly not that wimpy sort, canadian poupon.