Monday, September 6, 2010

The Sneaky Mustard

History is full of wonderful accidents, discoveries that no one was looking for will announce themselves to the world when the fickle fates decide. New elements in the periodic table, new inventions that happened Just By Way of Chance, The Right Time and The Right Place. All amazing. But very few of these accidents can claim to be both wonderful, and delicious.
A little incident in the kitchen the other day reminded me that creativity is never about having everything in the world at your disposal and making something fantastic. It's about limits, of all things. about what we do when we don't have very much, when we're held back or restrained in some way. It's this necessity that certainly becomes the mama of all good invention.
Like Joelle who 'keeps poor house' or Lady Hubbard with her little bare cupboard, I was having a bit of sitch in the kitch the other day. I was doing nothing much when, like the sacred hand of God pointing down from a distant heaven, a spot of sharp and sudden hunger made itself known to me in the deepest viscera of my bountiful belly. I was rather excited, as I always am when I am legitimately hungry and have to eat, as opposed to the slight recreation I make out of it from time to peckish time. 

I went to the kitchen, nothing but a few stale, slow slices of miche. Could I go anywhere yummy with this?
I opened the fridge. Tidbits, mere trivia! A little wedge of forgotten onion, sulking off on a remote second shelf corner. Some sour cream that made a cool cameo in Tacos a few nights before, and... cheese.! Cheese We Didn't Know We Had! Things you didn't know you had, let's face it, are one of the smallest, most happy and constant miracles that ever happen to us in this life, and are really, truly, worth being very excited about. And what could be beddar than cheddar? 

I started having spontaneous visions. Little flickerings of silent imagining. My head was doing its own inner flavour calculus, matching and pairing, silently permutating and combinating (they're words now). I'm quite proud (Danny 'Up Yourself') with what I can do with very little and how my mind matches flavours and knows they'll work. It isn't rocket science, but it's a handy little trick to have up your grubby sleeve. 

The alchemy was almost there, almost, almost.
It took a chance sighting of my favourite brand of Simon Dijon mustard loitering like some kind of fantastic Fonz around the condiment section to really make it all come together.  Eeehhhhhh! 

Yes! Mustard, moutard, LustyMustDoMustard! As far as I am concerned, mustard is always what's missing or needed. It's a rocket to the moon in a jar and always ready to take you and your food off to the nether regions of some kind of crazy cosmic deliciousness.
A few chives from the 'garden'/pot planty thing we've got rocking on our little Barr St Balcony, A fired up oven and it's about to be mouth melange a la madness.
A flash, a chop, a slice and spark, the earth arcs and the heavens align on my chopping board. A Prophecy in the East said somewhere that a child would be born that day, who would one day rule all the world. And somewhere in the sky a star did fall, etc etc etc

Hungry People Who Really Dig Toasties, I give you...

The Sneaky Mustard

Fire up some strong Sourdough (Sour for contrast) All the way to Crunch
Lash it with Extra Virgin so it's deep and oiled
Flip it over, spread some Shh Shh sneaky dijon in sharp mustard spirals -
so no one knows it's coming
Top with layered, rustic slices of cheddar + 
Diced Purple Onion
Let the oven blister the cheddar
Take it Out
Sigh Swoon Sigh
Top with gentle spooned sour cream
And some pert little chives
Irregular, Delicious, Mustardly Messtastical
Sigh Again

These ingredients uniting is like when the Red Hot Chili Peppers finally found Frusciante. When Brad found Angie. When the Beatles formed. When left brain meets right brain and they happily walk off together into a cerebral sunset. It's Meant To Be - in Mustard. Simple, yes, but so fricking rocking. Taste it and it all comes together, like the Frusciante solo at the end of Scar Tissue, but in your mouth.

It might be lonely, but you shouldn't share this stuff with the birds - or with anyone for that matter. So delicious and crunchy and cheesey and onion chive spiked. The psychic spies from China are already all over this stuff, and you should be too! 

x A


Fouad @ The Food Blog said...

Wasn't Dijon mustard discovered when Jean Naigeon ran out of vinegar and reached for the verjuice in his cupboard? Awesome job, but remember, not everyone could have invented your creation given what you had to work with. Chance favours the prepared mind ;)

amanda said...

foo! i did not know about said mustard inventor, he should be one of my favourite people. now tell me, are you seeded, hot english mustard, or dijon?