Pardon me, do you have any homemade Dijon mustard?

 From time to time I hear about people making ketchup at home. Ho hum. How many people attempt to make their own mustard? Well I just did and it was a revelation.

Before you start, know that this is not a money saving idea. You cannot make a decent mustard for less than you can buy it. But that's not really the point, is it?

I have made this with powdered yellow and powdered brown mustards and it's much better if you use powdered brown mustard. Brown mustard is hotter and sweeter at the same time and using it makes an enormous difference.

If you can't get your hands on any brown, the yellow stuff will still work.

Homemade Dijon Mustard

2 C (that's about 475 ml) dry white wine

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

115g brown mustard powder (that's about a cup)

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

In a saucepan, combine wine, onion and garlic; heat to boiling, simmer, covered, 5 to10 minutes. Cool, strain, and return liquid to the pot.

Add dry mustard to the cooked liquid, stirring constantly until smooth.

Blend in honey, oil, and salt; heat slowly until thickened (keep nose away; fumes are strong!), stirring constantly. It’s done when you swipe a rubber spatula across the bottom of the pot and you can just see the track.

Pour into a glass jar; cool, let sit on counter at room temperature overnight.

Refrigerate 2–8 weeks to age flavor before using.

And that's it. Easy, right? Once you have the Dijon style down pat, it's really easy to play around with this recipe and to come up with your own variations. Swapping out the honey for something else that's also sweet is the first thing I'd attempt. My favorite substitution so far is using fig jam instead of honey -- it gives you the sweetness while keeping with the French theme.

As a point of order and in case you don't know, Dijon mustard gets its name from the city of Dijon in Burgundy, France. In French they call it Moutarde de Dijon and it's the default form of mustard. Dijon was the mustard-making capital of medieval France and back then, they used verjuice instead of dry white wine to make this mustard.

Verjuice is the highly acidic grape juice destined to be turned into white wine. If you thought finding powdered brown mustard was difficult, good luck finding verjuice!

If you do find some, it's an interesting ingredient to play around with. It's acidic enough to use in salad dressings but still palatable enough to use in lieu of white wine in cooking.

Have fun with this, that's the whole point. Few things give me the kind of joy that serving something that's this common yet still obscure does.