Sunday, December 13, 2009


This year my homemade holiday gifts are lip balm, pear ginger jam, pear butter and homemade mustard. I concocted the lip balm by mixing some beeswax, cocoa butter, olive oil, sweet almond oil and a vanilla bean. It is very waxy, but I like that. My work environment is so dry that my lips are continually peeling so I wanted something really thick and waxy. I don't know how others will like it - but I guess I'll find out! The vanilla didn't impart as much flavor or aroma as I would have liked.

Today is my in the kitchen day. I have started the mustard, brewing some homebrew (that is a gift to Bill and me - not for others :) ) and I'm trying out my new sourdough starter than my cousin gave me yesterday. I love homemade gifts! I killed my last starter (note to self: use and feed it weekly!). I vow to not kill this one.

My brew is a Vienna Lager. I am a novice brewer so I mostly use kits - I was surprised to see that this kit contained corn sugar. I've only tried one non-kit and it was pretty hop-py. It was good. I've been brewing for about two years - it is enjoyable, tasty and more reasonable to purchasing good microbrews.

In this photo, you can see my wooden bread bowl on the right, the homebrew boiling on the stove.

My supervisors. Gracie (black) and Georgie (white tabby also female).

Mustard! I've never tried this, but I'm making two kinds: Apple Cider and Dijon. The one on the left is Dijon.
Here is the Apple Cider Mustard recipe: (I'll post the dijon in a day or so).
Apple Cider Mustard
2/3 C Yellow mustard seeds
1/2 C Brown mustard seeds
1 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C hard apple cider (or apple cider)
2 t brown sugar
2 t salt
Combine seeds, vinegar and cider in a glass jar. Seed out at room temperature for 48 hours. Add remaining ingredients, pour into a food processor and blend and mix until creamy, about 5 mins. Add more liquid (2 vinegar: 1 cider) if needed. Requires 2 -4 weeks aging.
Good on pork, sandwiches or with pretzels.
How easy is that?!? I get my bulk spices (mustard seeds, etc.) from my food coop via Frontier. Even if you have to pay their retail prices - it is worth it because they are a great company and they have really fresh products.


Georgina of the Rainbows said...

Thanks for that mustard recipe Angie! Being the homesteading type myself, I cannot agree more that DIY gifts are always the most heartfelt and heartwarming.


Jena said...

Oh, homemade mustard, that's wonderful! I looked in to that a little bit before and for whatever reason didn't make much progress. I'll have to source out the ingredients and try the Dijon. We use a lot of that on baked chicken.

Jenna Gayle said...

I'm making homemade gifts this year, too! 18 tins of cookies (!!!), vanilla extract, and hot pepper sauce! I'm going to copy your recipe for the mustard- it looks really good! I look forward to the other recipe, too!

Jenna Gayle said...

Oh, and if it makes you feel any better... I've killed one or two batches of starter myself!

Barb said...

I love to give & receive homemade gifts. That mustard sounds really good. I'll have to try it out sometime. Didn't know that you home-brewed. We have been saving beer bottles so we can do the same or make & bottle cider-type beer when we move to the farm. I have also killed starter.:-(

angie said...

Hi Lin GG - thanks for stopping by.

Jena - I'll do a follow up post on the dijon today or tomorrow. Bill was eating it on pretzels last night.

Jenna (Wow, two Jena/Jenna's!) - I'd be interested in your hot pepper sauce. I'll check out your blog and see if I can find it.

Barb - homebrewing is great because of the bottle reuse. Hard cider is on my list too but I guess I should get the orchard planted first! :)