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Friday, April 22, 2011

Wrong Time of the Year

It's not fall.  The calendar tells me so.  A look outside my window refutes that fact, and the weatherman appears to have missed the memo, but it is, in fact, spring.  In this part of the world, that should mean warmer breezes and lighter cooking.  This year, however, we are being blessed with considerably cooler than average temperatures and even snow.  Typical fall weather.  Reminiscent of Oktoberfest.

Here in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, we have the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany.  True story.  Alongside the bratwurst, healthy doses are Oktoberfest mustard and sauerkraut can be found.  We love sausage and pork products at our house.  We love condiments almost as much.  And not your standard condiments.  We use plum sauce for french fries.  MiracleWhip for corn on the cob.  Ranch dressing on just about everything.  Again, I digress

This being Easter weekend, it's a perfect excuse to serve pork.  I don't know why, exactly, it just is.  But more like ham than sausages.  But we were out of Oktoberfest mustard.  Not to worry - I have a recipe for that.

This was written out by my Dutch grandmother.  Don't ask, aside from it being cheaper than store bought, I don't quite get the connection either.

You start with 2 tablespoons of butter.  How do I know what two tablespoons looks like?  I use my handy-dandy pre-divided butter, that's how.  Half a quarter cup is about two tablespoons.  Fantastically simple.  I can do simple.

Into the pot to get nice and bubbly.

Then a tablespoon of flour.  Be sure to let them get to know each other very well.  If you don't, it will end up being gummy and groady.  Not at all the look we are going for here.

Then a quarter cup of yellow mustard.  Just plain old mustard.  Not grainy.  Not wasabi.  And certainly no need for Grey Poupon.

Then the sugar and the milk.  It will look a little lumpy at first.  Don't worry, it will smooth out very quickly.

See?  Told ya so.  Then let it bubble and boil away for a few minutes, until its nice and thick.  It will return to approximately the same consistency as the prepared mustard, but smoother.

Then the vinegar.  Again, plain old white vinegar.  Anything else will change the taste.  You are just looking for a background tang here, not a front stage twang.

Pour it into a jar while its still warm, but leave the lid off until it cools completely.

Voila!  Magically, it makes exactly the same amount as originally came out of this jar.  A jar that held the original Oktoberfest mustard, as purchased at the grocery store.

Pretty cool Gram.

So how about you?  Do you have any make at home condiment recipes to share? 1. 2.
Share/Save/Bookmark 3.

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