As an avid home gardener, I love to nurture my crops from seed to harvest, then process the harvested treasures into preserves and sustenance for friends and relatives. In my blogging with MOTHER EARTH NEWS, I look forward to sharing tales of success (and, occasionally, woes) from my personal trenches for gardening, cooking and crafting.
When my husband, children, and I first moved to Ohio, I remember clearly loathing the dead-looking fields during winter. All these years later, I find that not only have I adjusted to enjoying the seasons in all their splendor, but I also look forward to each one with vigorous anticipation. I love seeing the signs as each one arrives: This week brought the saffron crocus up in my bulb bed as the shrubs and trees radiantly wave adieu in all their splendor and retreat into their varying states of slumber.
For me, winter also signals a retreating indoors for a slower speed in lifing — one filled with thoughtful reflection, the finishing up in processing of the foods my garden has gifted me, and returning to my arting. This seems like the perfect time to start sharing ideas and experiences from those busier times of year with like-minded folks in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS audience.
Already in the works are blog posts about some of the treasures I have in my garden (like my ‘Kieffer’ pear tree), exciting harvests from this year (wait until you see my gourds), the winding down of gardening in Ohio, and the revving up of excitement that accompanies spring!
My sister, Shawn, has shared her experiences and views on MOTHER EARTH NEWS for more than a year and insists that it’s my turn. (Between you and me, I think she just wants me to have somewhere else to share the photos of my garden so I send fewer in her direction.) As a preview to my forthcoming cookbook, I have included my favorite beer-infused mustard recipe below.
If you’d like to read the back story on this mustard, visit this post from my personal blog, Humings.
• 1-1/2 cups Firemans Brew Brunette (German doublebock-style beer)
• 1-1/2 cups mustard seed
• 1-1/8 cups apple cider vinegar
• 3 Tbsp honey
• 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
• 3 cloves garlic (sliced or diced)
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp of whole cloves (be sure to remove before adding the seasoned beer to the rest)
• 1/2 tsp whole allspice (be sure to remove before adding the seasoned beer to the rest)
Directions:1. Pour 1 cup of the beer, the apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves of the garlic, and the mustard seeds into a jar.
2. Bring 1/2 cup of beer over medium heat with the honey, brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic, salt, allspice and cloves just to a boil, and then let cool to room temperature. Remove allspice and cloves via straining.
3. Add this mixture to jar of other ingredients. Let sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
4. Process to desired consistency. Taste and adjust spicing as necessary. Add water, if needed.
5. Put in clean jars and refrigerate. This mustard makes a large batch which should hold its taste for 6 months but is still edible for a up to one year if properly stored.
While you’re waiting for more posts from me, feel free to check out my personal websites (linked in my bio page). I’m guessing there’s a little bit there for most folks to find interesting. Oh! And, I’m pleased to meet ya!Photos by Blythe Pelham
Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe.
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