poetry and prose about place

trial and error with mustard seed

with 10 comments

On Saturday we took a side trip to see if the mustard is ripe for collecting seeds.  We had selected a roadside area in early summer where lots of wild mustard was growing  (for more information, see my earlier post about wild mustard –

Although there are still some plants in bloom, the seeds have mostly been set in their long-beaked pods.

I would have been able to show you more, but I nibbled on the green pods the whole way home.  They are delicious, crisp and tangy, with a hint of mustard.

There were a few dry seed pods but most need a couple of additional weeks to ripen.  Each pod has three to seven well-formed seeds.  The seeds take a little work to extract.

Mustard pods and seeds; green pods, dry brown pods, seed husks and three tiny seeds 

I retrieved about 20 ripe mustard seeds from the pods, using a firm tap of the pestle to break the husk.  Then I ground the seeds in a half teaspoon of olive oil.  To make mustard, all my sources suggest using cold water, but I wanted to see if the seeds would flavour oil.

The ingredients almost vanished during the grinding with the pestle, but I got enough ‘mustard’ for a taste.

The verdict:  a very mild mustard oil, easily overwhelmed by the salt on the crackers!   When the pods ripen, I will pick enough for a few hundred seeds and I will use cold water to extract the flavour, just as the wise ones suggest!!!



©  Jane Tims  2012



1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;

2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;

3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

Written by jane tims

September 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm

10 Responses

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  1. I’ve often wondered about making my own mustard. Can’t wait to see and hear how it comes out with the cold water method. 🙂



    September 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    • Hi. I have read quite a bit about it and I guess the temperature of the water is important. Cold water makes a hot mustard, and water at room temperature makes a milder mustard. The trick will be to extract enough seeds since the husks are so tough and the tiny seeds elude my undeft fingers! Jane


      jane tims

      September 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

  2. Oh My Gosh Jane,,,,,,,,The comments made are hilarious.! Just when I think something,,,,,someone says it here,,,,Denis took my words straight out of my mouth.! And yes.! You do indeed “walk the talk”.! Funny,,,,keep up the good work.!



    September 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    • Hi Patsi. Thanks. By the way, I should do a post or two on my weaving adventures. I bought a loom years ago at an auction and used it for a few years. Then I left it alone for a while. I have just finished putting on the warp again (huge job!) and so am having some fun. I forgot how hard it is on the back. Remember the beautiful things you used to make on your loom. Do you still have it? Jane


      jane tims

      September 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      • Oh Jane,,,,,a loom.? Weaving was very relaxing for me but I really didn’t care for the set up. It took a tole on my back and also my hands since I never used a “boat’ as we called it. I sold it in 1983 for 500 dollars ,,,I made a lot of pillows on it,,,then I started making tablecloths. I am happy to hear that you have a loom,,,have fun with it Jane,,,please write about it. They take up a lot of room for sure,,,



        September 10, 2012 at 8:30 am

      • Hi. My loom is fairly small, a couple of feet wide, so it doesn’t take up a lot of room. I am going to do a couple of posts about weaving, so stay tuned. I learned all I know from you! Jane


        jane tims

        September 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

  3. Talk about the experimental approach: you walk the talk, girl! 🙂


    Jane Fritz

    September 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

  4. You know Jane … it’s probably easier (and safer) to go and get yourself a little jar of mustard at the supermarket. Otherwise, I fear you’ll be spending a long time picking on the side of the road and increasing your odds at being hit by a passing car.



    September 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    • Hi Denis. It is a bit funny…. the worst is working those little seeds out of their very tough husks! The other ‘worst’ is having about six bottles of various types of mustard already in the refrigerator. Jane


      jane tims

      September 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

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