2018-03-21 / Taste

From Linda, with food love

Easter is springtime for hand-me-down favorites
Sarah Kurysz

Homemade mustard sauce pairs perfectly with apricot-glazed baked ham. 
JENNY McQUEEN Homemade mustard sauce pairs perfectly with apricot-glazed baked ham. JENNY McQUEEN With Easter around the corner, cooks across the country are drawing up grocery lists for traditional Sunday favorites, dishes that have been part of the dinner table for what seems like forever. Whether those time-tested recipes are archived on an old recipe card, within the worn pages of a favored cookbook or jotted down on a scrap of paper, they bring an element of comforting nostalgia to the table. Linda Karg, a native of Minnesota, possesses a love of food and finds joy in feeding everyone around her. She is able to delight your palate while simultaneously giving you a sense of appreciation for the ingredients used and the time it took to prepare them.

Linda shared her mustard sauce recipe by passing along a recipe card handwritten in the 1950s. It came into my life in Chicago when I met Linda though a friend. It has since been photographed and shared by more people than I can count, and now I will share it with you.

Linda’s mustard sauce is sweet and creamy and pairs exquisitely with a baked ham. Though the flavor is akin to honey mustard, there is no honey in this recipe. The story from Linda is that honey was hard to find, so she used sugar. The sauce was a success, so sugar stayed.

Linda’s mustard sauce

Yields roughly 2 cups, about 8-10 servings

1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ cup dry ground mustard
Note: Use relatively fresh mustard powder. Old mustard powder will be extremely bitter. If you complete this recipe and the results are bitter instead of sweet, your mustard powder may be too old.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup half and half
¼ cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar, heated in the microwave for 45 seconds

Use a whisk for all of the mixing in this recipe.

In a small bowl mix together salt, flour, mustard and sugar. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan combine eggs, half and half and water. Mix thoroughly, until smooth. Add the From the 1950s, the original recipe card for Linda's Mustard Sauce. SARAH KURYSZFrom the 1950s, the original recipe card for Linda's Mustard Sauce. SARAH KURYSZdry ingredients and whisk until combined. Slowly pour in hot vinegar while whisking. Place pan over medium-high heat and continue to stir until the recipe has thickened, about 7 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

This mustard sauce is traditionally served with ham, although it would be delicious with nearly anything under the sun. If you’re making ham, just follow the instructions that come with the ham you purchase. The cooking times and temperatures change depending on the size, whether there’s a bone, and a few other factors. This is the glaze recipe that I have been using for years; it’s fail-safe.

Apricot glaze for baked ham

Yields 1 ½ cups glaze

One 8-ounce jar apricot jam
Note: The ratio of jam to other ingredients is very flexible in this recipe. A 6-, 10- or 12-ounce jar will also yield good results, so use what you have.
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons hot water

Combine all ingredients and spread over ham. Bake according to ham instructions.

I love using a recipe that has been enjoyed by more than one generation. If there is one piece of advice I can give anyone learning to cook, it’s to find those people who have been cooking significantly longer than you and listen to their kitchen stories. Find the recipes that have been around for years, featured at numerous gatherings and loved every time. If you are the person who has been cooking for 50 years, find someone to share that love of food with. Share your favorite recipes and their stories. Share your mistakes and the best things you have learned over the years. Cooking breeds community, and the more we share recipes between generations, the better our food will be. ¦

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