By Bob Hicks
Mrs. Scatter shovels a tiny spoon beneath my nose.
“You need to taste this new mustard,” she commands.
What’s this? New mustard? Mrs. Scatter’s been making the same mustard for so long it’s plastered on our sensory memories like the one tattoo you don’t regret. It’s Old Faithful, the house standard, the creme de condiments. If you can’t trust the house mustard, what can you trust?
So trying out a new recipe seems slightly slatternly: are we cheating? But the weather’s changing. Restlessness is in the air. And there’s the little matter of those three mostly full bottles of regrettably bland wine that need to be used up.
I hesitate, then dutifully down the little spoonful of coarse new mustard, which has a sweet-and-sour, unknitted, wait-and-see tang.
“It needs to age,” I say.
Mrs. Scatter nods. She knows that. This is only a test.
Fall and food go together in the Scatter household — perhaps you’ve seen Mrs. Scatter’s posts on pickles and chutney and such — and matters of the stomach have been popping up all day.