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Best. Gift. Ev0r.

Rather than placing my various gift-givers in competition with each other, I thought I might simply compete amongst myselves, and tell you all what the best gift I gave myself for Christmas was. And yes, I got myself more than one, and yes, the gift I have in mind is the best despite the fact that one of them was a new television (replacing the one I bought me when I got my first job 8 (!!!) years ago).

boetje.gifThis reflection is prompted by the fact that yesterday, I got online, and bought myself a gift box containing a six-pack of 8.5 oz. jars of mustard. Specifically, I bought myself Boetje's Stone Ground Dutch Mustard, and if I do say so, it is the best mustard known to Collin.

Shall I tell you of a quest for the perfect mustard that began some 20 years ago, when I left home for college and left the supply radius of Boetje Foods? Shall I tell you of my disappointment with the Grey Poupons and the stone ground German, Polish, and American mustards? Shall I wax nostalgic for the days when I could spread Boetje's on a sandwich or between a cracker and cheese, and it would evoke just the right combination of mustardy goodness with sinus-clearing, eye-watering spice? Shall I recount for you the number of sandwiches I've eaten in the past week, simply because I brought a jar of Boetje's back from the Quad-Cities with me? Shall I sing you for you the parody of the old Judy Garland song "I'm Just Wild about Harry" that I sing every December, wherein I announce that "I'm just wild about Boetje's"?

Okay, maybe not. But I kid you not when I say that I've tried every mustard I could lay my hands on, and never found one that I like half as much. As dorky as this entry may seem, the fact of the matter is that if I had to name a favorite condiment, this would be it. And while the absence of Boetje's never stopped me from eating a sandwich, its presence will make a condimental difference in my life. Okay, I just wrote that sentence so that I could use the word "condimental."

Maybe it's the nostalgia of putting it on crackers and cheese at my grandparents' house when I was a kid (and figuring out how much I could put on before it would make me cry). I don't know. But as goofy as I felt yesterday ordering jars of mustard online, not to mention talking about it now, believe me when I say that I'll thank myself for it in a few days...

That is all.


That is a damn fine mustard. About the only food in the midwest that's worth buying online (given that it's hard to ship barbeque).

Well, I shall have to procure a jar and investigate. My homesick mustard is Zatairain's, which is not easy to find up in this neck of the woods. But I'm always up for a serious mustard.

Always liked Woebers back in Gainesville. None up here. We have Koops here. Maybe I'll order Boetje.

I dunno...I have fallen for others' mustard-oriented nostalgia before, picking up two bottles of stadium mustard after my friend Elizabeth nearly wept with joy upon encountering it for the first time outside of Cleveland in a Pittsburgh grocery aisle, and I gotta say, without her memories, it didn't taste as good to me. I ended up leaving both bottles with neighbors when we moved. Maybe if you could make some of your home movies available online, then I might order it (and them).

Since others are getting all mustardy, I will insist that you locate, procure, and then quickly devour a jar of Terrapin Ridge's Smokey Onion Mustard: a mustard with a website.


My favorite mustard -- which you would probably not like since you seem to go for the horseradishy types, and I go for more of the frenchified mustards -- is Maille Herbes de Provence mustard. I used to drive up to Canada from Seattle to purchase it. Good in dressings, sauces, sandwiches . . .

I too just spent a fair amount of money purchasing things like good olive oil and garlic juice on-line and feel absolutely no shame. Enjoy your mustard purchase with pride and with joy Collin!