Lessons of the Mustard Seed

Faith to move mountains notwithstanding, what do mustard seeds say? Today, mustard seeds speak to me in urgent voices, saying, “Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.” I heard this home-spun philosophy frequently as a child, and today, when my mind turns to project #2 as I’m still in the completion phase of project #1, I’m reminded of my tendency to sometimes slide into the final innings of a project and the “worth doing well” part escapes me.

Since 2018, my business, Buzz Savories, blends, processes, packs and markets Spicy Beer Mustard and Buzz Savories Honey Mustard.  Here’s what I’ve learned. Every incremental step of every task related to making mustard matters and requires 100% attention on my part. The FDA cares about safety; customers care about the flavor of the mustard and quality of the packaging; the mustard complains when I disregard the specific requirements of blending, packing and processing a quality product.

Packing mustard demands focus and the important last task – sealing the jars can trip me up unless I manage the details perfectly.

My check list:

  • Weigh every jar
  • Wipe the top of every jar
  • Twist and tighten every lid on every jar
  • Place jars equidistant from one another in a large stainless-steel boiler with at least two inches of boiling water above every jar – Do Not Crowd the Jars!
  • Add two cups of white vinegar into the boiling water to eliminate mineral scum on the jars
  • Simmer for 25 minutes to seal the jars
  • Remove from the boiling water bath and cool the jars – Do Not Crowd the Jars as they cool!
  • Clean every jar with a white vinegar solution
  • Check that every jar is sealed and clean
  • Label
  • Pack into the original boxes – 12/box

Mustard has “a way of entertaining the senses” — and reminding the mustard maker that a task worth doing is worth doing well.

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