Uncle Bill’s Mustard


One of the flavours I remember best from childhood was the homemade mustard Uncle Bill made. Summertime meals were simple back then: a plate of cold cuts, white bread or homemade buns, assorted pickles, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, butter, and a variety of condiments. I always reached for the little baby food jar filled with the Uncle Bill’s mustard and smeared a generous dollop on my bread and covered it with a slice of ham.

I used to beg Uncle Bill to give Mom the recipe for this special treat but he always declined and, instead, gifted us with a small jar to take home. A number of years ago when I was staying with Uncle Bill after my dear Aunt Edie died suddenly (You may recall that horrible day from my book, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude.) he finally relented and allowed me write down his recipe as he mixed up a batch. Good thing, because by the time he passed away a number of years later I was persona non grata and the recipe would have been lost forever. (More about that heartbreak in my book too.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago I came across the recipe in my recipe box and decided to mix some up. It’s been many years since I made the mustard and I was disappointed at my first taste; it didn’t quite seem the same as what I remembered. I thought, perhaps, it needed to sit for a while so I tucked it away in the fridge. This afternoon I put some of the mustard on a hot dog and was delighted to find that it had transformed into the exact mustard I remember Uncle Bill making.


  • 8 heaping Tbsp. flour
  • 1 level Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper (scant)
  • 5 Tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric (optional for colour)


Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and dry mustard.

In a separate bowl combine the vinegar and brown sugar.

Add the vinegar/sugar mixture to the flour mixture.

Stir in the cream and mix well.

Add the turmeric if using it.

Put the mustard in small jars (As I mentioned, Uncle Bill used to use baby food jars. I used a couple of empty jam jars for this batch.) and store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks to allow the flavours to blend together.

Unfortunately this isn’t a recipe that can be processed in a canner to make it shelf-stable. Store it in the refrigerator and use your own judgement as to how long to keep it. Mine won’t last long enough to worry about it.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here most mornings with a photo and a few words about ordinary extraordinary things and, sometimes, thin places where faith intersects.
1 comment
  1. I’m not much for mustard, but how sweet of you to share this ‘secret recipe’ with all of us. I usually only use mustard on brats. And I only ever have them at the kids’ house a few times a year. 🙂

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