nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘mustard

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 –https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/a-moment-of-beautiful-mustard-fields-in-bloom/

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!!!

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©  Jane Tims  2012

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Warning: 

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

a moment of beautiful – mustard fields in bloom

with 14 comments

the space: a field along the St. John River

the beautiful: mustard in bloom

In some of the cultivated fields along the St. John River, acres of mustard are in bloom.  Mustard is common here, in both coastal and inland areas, along roads and in fields.  In the last weeks, I have found two species, Black Mustard (Brassica nigra (L.) Koch) and Field Mustard (Brassica rapa L.) also known as Rape, or Bird’s Rape.

Mustard is an herb of medium size, with pale yellow, four-petalled flowers in terminal clusters, and large lobed leaves.  The seeds are contained in pods; each pod ends in an elongated beak.

Mustard is well-known for its uses.  The young, basal leaves may be cooked as greens or used in salads.  Clusters of unopened flower buds can be cooked like brocolli.  The tender seed pods are pickled, or used in salads.

Mustard’s best-known use is as a spice – the seeds are collected, dried and ground to make hot yellow mustard.  I have a spot staked out to collect the seeds as they ripen in August, since I want to dry and grind some seeds for my own mustard.

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sandwich

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green leaves

between brown earth

and summer sky,

finished with

a generous smear

of mustard

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©  Jane Tims  2012

Warning:
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

July 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

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