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Food & Drink

How to make your own mustard

Homemade mustard is relatively easy to make. This yellow condiment and ballpark hotdog companion provides ample opportunities to experiment with flavor and texture.

Ingredients
You can find mustard seeds in the spices section of your local grocery store, or look for a big bag at a nearby wholesale store. Check for mustard powder or dry mustard with the spices or near the ready-made mustard.

To make any kind of mustard, soak the seeds in vinegar, wine or another other kind of liquid for a few days. Grind and process until the mustard reaches the right consistency, and you are ready to go.

Using dry mustard
The Farmers' Almanac recipe calls for dry mustard or mustard powder, which consists of seeds that have already been finely ground. Dissolve half a cup of dry mustard in half a cup of cider vinegar. Add half a cup of water, two egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar and 3  teaspoons of cornstarch and stir until everything has mixed together.

Cook using a double boiler until the mustard arrives at the desired consistency, continuously stirring the mixture. This should take about 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a container, allow it to cool, cover it and store in the refrigerator.

Using mustard seeds
America's Test Kitchen
has a recipe for whole grain mustard that involves equal parts cider vinegar and mustard seed by volume. If you use wine vinegar or another less-acidic variety, you want to increase the amount of vinegar ratio.

This recipe also calls for 1/4 cup of beer, but suggests wine, brandy, water or apple cider as alternatives. Once you have decided on your liquid of choice, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least eight hours. Your patience will be rewarded with delicious mustard, so don't be in a hurry to speed up the soaking process and diminish the flavor of the seeds.

When they are ready, place the seeds in a food processor or blender. Add brown sugar to cut some of the kick, or add half a cup of honey to make honey mustard. Blend or process until the mustard is as smooth or grainy as you would like. If you have not included any perishable ingredients, and prefer your mustard on the spicy side, leave it out to "ripen" for a few days. Refrigerate when it packs the proper amount of heat.

Once you have the mustard making process down, you can start experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. Add balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper or peach for variety.