Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

25 Days of Herbs and Celebrations - December 23

Dear Folks,

Celebrating the Multicultural festivities of December, I thought I would pick an herb or spice which is referenced in the Bible (land of three of the Major Religions of the world) and used in many cuisines around the entire world, as a way of gathering together all the wealth of diversity around us - in true celebration.

Day 23

Herb:  Mustard, Brassica nigra,  Matthew 13:31 “He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES."

Festivus  a Secular celebration Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O'Keefe, who worked on the American sitcom Seinfeld, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 episode The Strike.  Theme:  Festivus for the Rest of Us, guides the "parody holiday festival" and as a form of playful consumer resistance.

Read up on Festivus and ways to celebrate it at:  --


Plant Mustard seed in the fall and expect 80+ days to mature seed harvest.  You can pick some of the green leaves during the growing period, but don’t harvest too much – you want the plant to have plenty of energy to flower and produce seed.

As with all these edibles you need well draining soil and a sunny spot for maximum healthy plants.

Harvest when the seeds are dry and store for cooking use and to replant out next fall.


My Almost Empty Mustard Jar Recipes
...ah, the possibilities...frugal cooks once routinely saw the almost empty mustard jar as an opportunity for a salad dressing or sauce. Even 1 tablespoon left over could be turned into a tangy dinner enhancement, and it comes in its own shaker jar!

Salad Dressing:
1 almost empty mustard jar
2 tablespoons citrus juice (orange or tangerine are lovely)
4 tablespoons oil
Dash of salt and pepper
1 tablespoons fresh herb of choice, finely chopped (rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram or combination)
Place all ingredients in the jar, cap and shake well, dress the salad.

Options: If you enjoy chunky salads aka chopped salad (where the ingredients are left larger sized) create your own ‘green goddess' dressing — in a blender place this salad dressing and add 1-2 cups of finely chopped salad greens (lettuces, kale, escarole, etc.), blend to combine and pour over coarsely chopped vegetables.

Marinade / Sauce:
1 almost empty mustard jar
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons vinegar, citrus juice or other fruit juice (pineapple, apple, etc.)
4 tablespoons finely chopped thyme, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano, or 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well and pour over boneless chicken or sturdy fish (tuna, shark, halibut, swordfish). Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Grill until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes per side depending on thickness and heat of grill, basting with marinade periodically during grilling.


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Jimmy Boyd


O come, O come, Emmanuel

The Piano Guys



-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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