"Have you been for mustard yet?” my friend asked me, with an arched brow and a smile.
“No, but soon!” I grinned excitedly.
We're not members of a secret mustard society, just big fans of Free State Brewing Company's annual “March Mustard Madness” tradition.
Each year in March, Free State orders up a collection of mustards from the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, for patrons to sample. If you want to try some, you need only go in, sit down for a meal, and ask your server if you can try some mustards.
You'll likely be asked two questions.
First, you must choose a category of mustard. “Garlicky” is my favorite, but “spicy” can be good for an adventure. And if you've had a few tall Free State beers and are feeling really wild, ask for the “fruity” mustards ― the ones I've sampled have been surprisingly complex and delicious.
Second, you'll need a conveyance for your mustard. Fries are good, but, for my money, Free State's ginormous onion rings are the best way to scoop the mustard into my mouth.
Of course, between life and basketball, we never make it in to enjoy “March Mustard Madness” quite as much as we'd like. While you can order all the mustards served from the National Mustard Museum website (mustardmuseum.com), it's also fun to make your own mustard at home.
The following recipe definitely falls in the garlicky category. The first few days it will be a little flat, but by day 3 or 4 it becomes a garlic lover's dream. The garlicky flavor will continue to grow more intense, so ― while this will keep for several weeks ― it's probably best to plan to consume it in about a week.
Garlic Thyme Mustard
¼ cup mixed brown and yellow mustard seeds
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
4-5 stems of fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stems and minced
Mix all ingredients in a wide-mouthed jar and shake to combine. Allow to rest for 2-3 days in a refrigerator. At the end of the 3 days, stick an immersion blender in the jar and blend until the mustard seeds are broken up. (Alternatively, pour the contents of the jar into a blender to mix.) This mustard will keep in the fridge for several weeks, but gets more garlicky as time passes.