Despite their repeated intentions to use the gift to spice up a variety of vinaigrettes, marinades or glazes, local grandparents Terrence and Ida Adler have yet to find a worthy use for a small jar of premium stone-ground mustard they received last Christmas.
The mustard in question, collecting dust between a canister of Old Bay seasoning and a bag of slivered almonds in the kitchen pantry, was reportedly presented to the Alders by their granddaughter, Violet, along with a Zingerman’s gift certificate. Though thoroughly appreciated at the time, the exotic condiment has since saddled the Adler’s with near constant stress.
“Of course I very much loved the gift,” said Ida Adler. “Violet knows I enjoy cooking, she’s such a sweetheart.”
“But mustard does not really factor into any of my usual dishes, and I wouldn’t dare use it in something as simple as potato salad or deviled eggs—it’s just too nice,” she continued.
Just the thought of the jar of mustard looming menacingly on the kitchen shelf has reportedly sent the Adlers into fits of anxiety over the past few months as they try to make headway on the mustard problem.
“Every time I open the cupboard, I have to remind Ida that we need to test out that mustard,” said Mr. Alder. “But there is a lot of pressure to make something exceptionally fancy when you have such nice ingredients.”
Granddaughter Violet Welch was reportedly surprised to find that the jar remained unopened when she returned home for a weekend visit in March and claimed that she had not intended to give such a “troubling” gift.
“I really didn’t mean to cause them so much distress,” said Welch. “I was just happy to give them the opportunity to try out some of the unique products they can’t get back home in something easy like a pork shoulder rub or maybe a salad dressing.”
As the Adlers confessed, there were “a few meals back in January” that, in hindsight, would have been a “great opportunity” to break out the exorbitantly-priced condiment.
“I made salmon fillets with a garlic lemon aioli a few Sundays ago,” said Mrs. Adler. “As we were eating it, I realized the mustard would have been a great alternative, but obviously it was too late.”
“I would try again, but salmon hasn’t been on sale,” she continued.
At press time, the mustard had been pushed further back in the pantry to make room for a gifted jar of apricot chutney that was likely to face a similar fate.