Fresh Homemade Mustard sauce from seed. It’s really Easy!
Mustard is a cool weather Spring or Fall season crop that can be grown in a short growing season. Planting should occur as early in the season as the environmental conditions allow. The soil temperature should be at least 40 to 45°F at a depth of 1 inch. Varieties (grown for seed) of yellow mustard usually mature in 80 to 85 days whereas brown and oriental types require 90 to 95 days. Seedlings are usually somewhat tolerant to mild frosts after emergence, but severe frosts can destroy the crop. Mustard, especially the brown and oriental types, has a partial drought tolerance.
Harvest Mustard Greens when small and tender. Remove woody stem from larger and older leafs before cooking.
Prepare Mustard much the same way you cook collards or turnip greens. Season using ham hock, crispy fried bacon bits or a small amount of bacon fat.
In salads use in moderation and use only very young tender Mustard leafs.
Three types of mustard, yellow, brown, and oriental, are grown in North America. Yellow mustard comprises about 90% of the crop. In Europe, yellow mustard is also known as white mustard.
More than 700 million lbs of mustard are consumed worldwide each year. Yellow mustard is usually used for prepared or table mustard, a condiment, and as dry mustard. Dry mustard is frequently used as a seasoning in mayonnaise, salad dressings, and sauces. Flour made from yellow mustard is an excellent emulsifying agent and stabilizer, and consequently, it is used in sausage preparation. Brown and oriental mustards are also used as oilseed crops. However, the strong flavor of this high protein oilseed has made it unpopular in the livestock feed and vegetable oil markets of North America. As a result, mustard produced in North America is used primarily as a spice or condiment.
Mustard is an annual herb with seedlings that emerge rapidly, but then usually grow slowly. Plants cover the ground in 4 to 5 weeks with favorable moisture and temperature conditions. The tap roots will grow 5 ft into the soil under dry conditions. Plant height at maturity varies from 30 to 45 inches tall. depending on type, variety, and environmental conditions.
Flower buds are visible about five weeks after emergence. Yellow flowers begin to appear 7 to 10 days later and continue blooming for a longer period with an adequate water supply. A longer flowering period increases the yield potential. About half of the flowers produce dark, reddish-brown seeds that are retained in pods. Flowers pollinated during the first 15 days of the flowering period produce most of the seed.
How to plant Mustard
Propagate by seed, Best Germination temperature is 45 F to 85 F – Mustard Will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F. Days to emergence is about 4 to 7.
Maintenance and care
From early spring to late summer, sow seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep, 1 inch apart in rows 6 to 8 inches apart. Thin to 6-inch spacings for smaller varieties, or up to 18 inches for large ones. Plant every 2 weeks for continuous harvest. Some plantings may bolt quickly in response to increasing temperatures and day length. High temperatures and lack of moisture increase peppery taste.
Pests in Mustard Flea beetles, White flies and Aphids. Mustards generally suffer less insect damage than other cole crops.
Varieties There are many varieties to choose from, though most seed catalogs only offer a few. Look for different days to maturity, size of plants, and form and color of leaves.
Some varieties recommended include Green Wave, Red Giant, Florida Broadleaf, Tendergreen and Savannah. If you like the curly leaf varieties try Southern Giant Curl.
Turnips make a good companion crop to mustard and are basically planted the same way. It will take another five to 10 days from planting to harvest to allow the roots to fully develop. The most popular variety of turnips is Purple Top, however you might want to try White Globe, Royal Crown, Tokyo Cross or White Lady.
DIY How to make mustard (yellow sauce)
We call the yellow sauce that we often slather on our hotdogs mustard. But there’s really a lot more than mustard in the sauce. And mustard isn’t always yellow. The plain mustard sauce isn’t yellow because of the mustard even if yellow mustard seeds are used. Turmeric is added to add the tint. And if you use brown, red or black mustard seeds, the sauce will not have the same color as the stuff that comes out of the squeezable plastic bottles that we find on the grocery shelves.
How to make Two kinds plain smooth and grainy. Why? Aren’t they available in any grocery? Plain, yes. Grainy, not so easy to find. Mustard, whether smooth or grainy, isn’t exactly cheap. Good mustard is even less cheap.
The flavor of homemade mustard can be customized according to your preferences. Like very tangy mustard? Add more vinegar. Want something a bit sweet? Choose between honey and sugar. Want something more earthy than usual? Add cinnamon and cloves or a little ground horseradish for a spicy mustard sauce. You can have a mustard for your hotdogs, another for marinades and still another for making salad dressings.
But isn’t that impractical? Too much mustard at any given time? Mustard has a very, very long shelf life. It doesn’t even need refrigeration. Apparently, vinegar with mustard seeds have an anti-bacterial property that defies mold, mildew and bacteria of decay.
You can buy mustard seeds in the grocery. Yellow and black are both available. How much prepared mustard will 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of mustard seeds yield? About three and a half cups.
Start by soaking the mustard seeds to soften them. Use one part water and one part white vinegar. An hour or two of soaking softens them sufficiently. The seeds will swell so use a 1:3 ratio. One part seeds and three parts liquid.
After soaking, put the seeds with the liquid in a blender. Process until the desired consistency is reached. Don’t worry if the mixture appears thin at this stage. The sauce will thicken on its own.
How long does the processing last? That depends on the power of your blender. Two to three 30-second cycles. After two cycles with the mixture still a bit grainy, pour a third into a jar. Processed the remainder for another cycle until it was a smooth paste.
Next, add the aromatics, seasonings and color. Added more vinegar, salt you can use any salt all though I wouldn’t recommend iodized, turmeric, a bit of cinnamon and cloves, and some sugar for balance.
There is no formula here. Just stir, and see and taste as you go along. Want a really bright yellow? Add more turmeric. More tang? Drizzle in more vinegar. Note mustard at this stage, the sauce will be very hot. I mean, spicy hot. The heat will mellow over time.
When the sauce tastes right to you, you can pulse it a few more times in the blender to make sure that everything you added gets distributed evenly. Pour the yellow sauce into a jar with a tight lid.
For the grainy mustard, added the same seasonings but less turmeric and vinegar, and more sugar or honey.
Let the mustard sauce sit in a cool dark place to allow the flavors to develop. It is during this stage that the mustard looses the intense heat and the flavors blend. Some say a week is best.
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