As a fearless experimenter of food, I pride myself on my ability to adapt a recipe to make it my own, as well as combine unassuming flavours and be undeterred by the results whether they prove to be edible or not. More often than not, I am able to pull something interesting together. Other times prove disastrous.
Being a sensory oriented person, I am often inspired by what lies before me. I like to surround myself with lots of ingredients and imagine, or feel, how well they will go together (science has actually found ways to pair foods by their molecular structure… one day, I will have to look into that). Having honed this ability over a lifetime of playing around in kitchens, I often have a pretty good sense of what I am working with will taste like. Kim chi and eggs? Hell yeah. Mango chutney on lentil loaf? Why not? Lamb stew with a touch of maple syrup? You’re damn right. Chicken and milk? If Jamie Oliver can do it, I can, too.
I found a this recipe for mustard on David Lebovitz’s website. I enjoy making my own condiments, so I thought I’d give it a try with a few of my own “improvements”. The first time I doubled the recipe in my eagerness to have large quantities of homemade mustard in the house. It was awful. I was overenthusiastic in my use of horseradish. It tasted like bleach had a threesome with cat piss and Satan and was unable to detect who fathered the love child. It was all thrown out.
After a few months buffer to my taste buds, I tried again. I omitted the horseradish, so it was a bit more tolerable, but I still did not find the results pleasing…or even acceptable, really. The recipe I used called for white wine vinegar, which is difficult to find in Korea. But, for whatever reason, I had no problem finding red wine vinegar. I know there are some distinctions between red and white, but could it really have changed it that much? I managed a few sandwiches, but it was too hard to choke down. Two batches of mustard… rubbished.
How could a bit of mustard seed, red wine vinegar, and a few other things fail so hard? Did I accidentally leave out a crucial ingredient? Had a misread the instructions? Did I take my improvisation too far? Well, I can’t say for sure until I’ve tried several different recipes multiple more times.
But… ironically, I think it was the turmeric.
Do you know any tips and tricks regarding making mustard? Please leave a comment!