Cutting the Mustard

“Why do we have to be satisfied with the status quo?”

Truer words were never spoken. Especially when the speaker is talking about bringing back the lost art of making your own condiments instead of just reaching for the mass-produced ones.

Ready to learn how? Virginia Taylor is a museum interpreter at the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm, the subject of a profile in the Boston Globe (registration required), and the leader of workshops on how to make your own spicy/sweet spreads and relishes.

Homemade condiments can reduce your reliance on packaged foods, and if you have a few jars on hand you’ll never have to show up at a party empty-handed. And while we all know that old-fashioned ketchup is based on a spicy fish condiment from China, Taylor offers Globe readers a recipe for a tangy fruit-based ketchup that’s chock-full of plums (registration required).

Don’t fancy plums? Ferdzy, at Seasonal Ontario Food, created a spicy Currant Catsup. Meanwhile, YumSugar endured the craziness of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which reminded her that her mother had recently perfected a recipe for the ultimate condiment: Pickled Garlic.

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