Each year we have a garden (a patio container garden), and each year we rush to use or preserve everything at the end of the season. This year we’ve been pretty good about preserving as we go along: using basil in pepper jelly, drying herbs while at their peak flavor, and being diligent about picking cherry tomatoes as soon as they are ripe. It’s been a great season.

As things start to wind down, I’m trying even harder to use the rest of our herbs, tomatoes, and peppers and went on a canning spree over the weekend. I made up a batch of candied jalapenos with hopes to use them on a cheese platter this winter and I tried my hand at a couple varieties of mustard. One of the mustards was packed with the deep and dark flavors of Fulton’s Worthy Adversary and the other used every last bit of sage from my garden along with lemon zest and a healthy splash of white wine.

I haven’t been canning for long but have gotten better over the last couple of years. It helps to have a jar lifter and it has also been helpful having a canning pot fitted with a metal rack so the glass jars aren’t clanging around (thanks Grandma Barb!). If you don’t have these tools, don’t worry, you can use a large pot and tongs: just be careful when handling the glass jars.

Here’s the recipe I used from Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving, also located on the company website. It’s a great book full of important information pertaining to the various types of canning and preserving.

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

Lemon Sage Wine Mustard
Makes about 5 (4 oz) jars

Subtle lemon and sage accents enhance the flavor of this mild mustard. Stir it into vegetable salads or serve it with grilled vegetables and meats.

1 bunch fresh sage
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup white wine vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/4 tsp salt
5 (4 oz) glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1) FINELY CHOP enough sage leaves to measure 1/3 cup and set aside.

2) COARSELY CHOP remaining sage leaves and stems to measure 1/2 cup and place in a small stainless steel saucepan with white wine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring and pressing sage to release flavor. Remove from heat. Cover tightly and let steep for 5 minutes.

3) TRANSFER sage infusion to a sieve placed over a glass or stainless steel bowl and press leaves with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Discard solids and return liquid to saucepan. Add mustard seeds. Cover and let stand at room temperature until seeds have absorbed most of the moisture, about two hours.

4) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

5) COMBINE marinated mustard seeds (with liquid) and vinegar in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until blended and most seeds are well chopped, but retaining a slightly grainy texture.

6) TRANSFER mixture to a stainless steel saucepan and add lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, salt and reserved finely chopped sage. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and boil gently, stirring frequently, until volume is reduced by a third, about 20 minutes.

7) LADLE hot mustard into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

8) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


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