Those of you who, like me, prefer your savouries without sugar in them know how hard it can be to find a good sugarless mustard. One of the simplest solutions to this problem is to buy dry mustard and then make it up yourself.
Or so one might think. Simply adding water to create the desired consistency results in something that should probably be banned under the Geneva Convention, and using vinegar instead – which is said to ameliorate the sharpness – is little better.
Naturally, in this brave new internetty world, the next thing one does is look up recipes online. These are mostly promulgated by people who are really passionate about food, and it shows. For one thing, many of the recipes need cooking, as though a person wanting a tablespoonful of mustard on their hotdog is going to have the time and inclination to cook a cupful or two of the stuff – not to mention eating hotdogs often enough to get through it all before it goes off.
I have learned my lesson: before and after makeovers are much more impressive if you have a picture of Before.
I took the sleeves off my favourite dress last summer – despite the seams being both sewn and overlocked they were still coming adrift in places – and happily drafted a post about it. Only to find that I had no pictures of the dress from the four plus years I wore it avec sleeves. Despite wearing it probably twice a week, year round, all through that time.
Late last year I decided to move to a mostly me-made wardrobe. As I wrote in Ten Ways to a More Ethical Wardrobe, “Obviously, this is a long-term, take-it-a-step-at-a-time proposition. Still, the freedom inherent in being able to decide for yourself what cloth, cut and colour you want, instead of being forced to choose from a limited number of options, is very alluring.”
It was the extremely limited number of options available in ladies’ underclothing that finally sparked my rebellion. I was used to my clothing preferences leaving me with reduced choice in the vast ocean of mass-produced fashion. I wasn’t expecting to be left with no choice but a scratchy, lurid beige thing which didn’t even resemble the image on its own label. (I bet you didn’t know beige could be lurid. Neither did I.)