Well, it’s maple time and I just got in from collecting sap out in the woods. The snow’s quite a bit deeper this year than last, that’s for sure. In fact, in one spot I was really wishing that I had my snowshoes because I sunk in down to my knees and then toppled over. BUT, Grandpa must have been watching over me because NO SAP was lost in the fall. I repeat. NO SAP WAS LOST. It was a close call, but disaster was averted and all sugar water remained in my bucket. As a bonus, I also came out unscathed (if Grandpa were around, he would agree with me on the bonus part).
I worked up a bit of a hunger while out in the woods, but thankfully, my mom had me covered. She made this delightful Maple-Basil Mustard from the Maple Syrup Cookbook that I enjoyed with some pretzels. Yum. This morning she approached me with this cookbook and said, nonchalantly, “Oh, have I shown you this? It has a lot of maple recipes.” My eyes jumped out of my head while I screamed – “Why do you hide things from me?!?!” Over 100 delicious maple recipes. It’s the mother-lode! If you like maple syrup as much as me (and Buddy the Elf), I strongly recommend getting a copy of this book. And if you don’t, at least make the mustard.
Maple-Basil Mustard (from the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich)
1/3 c. yellow mustard seeds
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. maple syrup
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
Put the mustard seeds, dry mustard and water in a food processor and process for 30 – 60 seconds, until the mixture becomes think and grainy. Let the mixture sit for about 2 hours (this helps release the bitter components of the mustard).
After a few hours, add the vinegar, maple syrup, basil and process until smooth. There might be a few grains, but that’s ok.
Scrape into a double boiler and cook over simmering water for about 10 minutes. Stir often. Scrape into a bowl and cool. Touch with more vinegar, maple syrup or salt as needed. Refrigerate. It will keep indefinitely.