Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Spicy Honey Mustard:
the Cauldron Corroding Condiment

by Dumbledwarf, McGonagirl

Molly Weasley was in her kitchen wondering what to make as gifts for the Hogwart's teachers who taught her four younger children. The other three had graduated with honors and held interesting jobs ... well, Percy's job wasn't so interesting, but he certainly took it seriously.

Percy worked at the Ministry of Magic, researching and writing the specifics for the import of cauldrons, in particular in defining what was acceptable in terms of cauldron thickness. But despite his serious efforts, the potions still ended up occasionally burning through the bottoms of the darned things, whether domestic or imported. When he came down to breakfast, she noticed he was looking poorly, so Molly asked him what was wrong? He was was so stressed out about the cauldron failures despite all his hard work that he practically burst into tears and confessed the trouble (his mother was the first person to even show any interest in his work).

Molly Weasley suggested he see the Two Fat Saxon Witches, who would have made potions of many types in many different cauldrons. Percy had heard of them, of course — everyone in the wizard world had — but like everyone else, he was frightened of the two formidable witches. He mumbled that he'd take care of the problem himself, thanks, and apparated off to the office.

Ginny, the youngest Weasley child, had been coming down the stairs when she heard her normally stone-faced older brother weeping and stood still to listen. Upon hearing her mother's suggestion, she grew excited. Hermione had gone to see the famous witches in order to develop a Nutless Frangipane Tarte for Ginny (who was allergic to nuts), and was impressed at how much the older girl had learned. She begged her mother to go and meet the witches on Percy's behalf ...

When Molly and Ginny procured the invitation to visit, they went immediately; one did not keep the Fat Ladies waiting! They quickly explained Percy's problem and the witches rolled their eyes. "It's not the thickness, it's the chemical reaction between the pot and the ingredients!" barked the bigger one. The other one served tea and cakes and smiled a lot.

Back at home, Ginny did some research in the many books at the Burrow and came up with the answer! Some ingredients which were acidic would react with metals like pewter, lead, copper, cast iron, etc. For such potions, a NON-REACTIVE material was required: glass, coated ceramic, or stainless steel, or even tin would do.

To prove it, Molly and Ginny boiled batches of acidic vinegar in several different pots, weighing the cauldrons before and after. Sure enough, the non-reactive pots weighed the same, while the reactive metals Ginny had read about weighed less — much less, in some cases. Satisfied, Molly made big batches of mustard (pounded spices pickled and suspended in vinegar) in a stainless steel cauldron for Ginny to bring to school for her teachers as gifts, and every batch tasted like mustard and not like metal, which could happen if one used a reactive pot.

Now, how to get that information to Percy so he wouldn't be surly or sulky for not thinking of the solution himself!

  • 3½ oz / 100 g black mustard seeds
  • ½ cup white wine or cider vinegar
  • 8 oz / 225 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered tumeric
  • 1¾ cups water
  • salt, to taste
  • 1¼ cups honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered thyme OR chili powder OR paprika
  • additional salt, to taste
  • additional ground pepper, to taste
  • additional vinegar, to taste
In a glass bowl, mix together the black mustard seeds and vinegar at least 6 hours or overnight, covered.

In a blender or food processor, grind the yellow mustard seeds until it forms a medium powder.

Grind the softened black mustard seeds in a mortar and pestle or in the workbowl of a food processor. Add the yellow mustard seeds, white pepper, and tumeric.

In a non-reactive saucepan, boil the water and add "enough" salt to your taste — this means add enough till it's "just too salty" for you. Slowly add to the mustard seed mixture and mix. Pour the mixture out into a non-reactive mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, slowly mix in the honey to emulsify the mixture so it's smooth and creamy. Add the thyme or chili powder or paprika; add more if you like it. Also season with salt, pepper and vinegar, all to taste. (NOTE: This may not be necessary — it's a strong brew.)

If the concoction looks too "thin" for your liking, you can put it through the food processor again, or take a "kitchen wand" to it, a.k.a. stick blender. Don't pulse it down to a paste — it should still have a grainy texture.

While the mustard is still hot, spoon into sterilized jars and seal. Process as for jam. Let stand for at least 2 weeks before using.

Makes about a quart of mustard (32 oz / 900 g). For gift baskets, smaller is "cuter" and better! Molly likes 2 oz / 60 g "sample jars" which she packs with a bag of homemade pretzels. This gift is always a hit among the Hogwart's teachers!


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