Before we get onto the recipe, some family boasting is in order. Mr Weasel had his viva voce yesterday, and was let out after two hours fierce examining with no corrections to his thesis. This means that in June, he’ll become Dr Weasel at a ceremony for which I get to wear a hat. Well done, sweetheart!
Onto the food.
Evelyn Rose is an English cookery writer who specialises in Jewish family recipes and entertaining on a large scale. This recipe is from her The Entertaining Cookbook, published in 1980, which I seem to find myself drawn back to on every large family occasion. She has a calm and deft ability with cooking for large groups, and all the recipes I’ve tried have been foolproof. I use my mother’s copy, which she’s had for twenty years; most of its pages are falling apart now, and the cucumber salad page is splattered with two decades of the best sugary Swedish dressing in the world. Sadly, the book seems to be out of print now, although I have spotted second-hand copies online for around £40. Fortunately, I am frequently to be found in second-hand bookshops, so it’s likely I’ll find a cheaper copy some time before I get too old to read.
Update: I finally found a copy of the book in late 2007, at the tender age of 31, for a mere quid on good old eBay.
This dill mustard is far better than the stuff from a jar. It’s my favourite accompaniment for smoked salmon; try it with salmon, some buttered rye bread and a small salad. Evelyn Rose says it keeps in the fridge for a month – here, it’s never hung around long for enough for me to test that assertion. The ingredients list may sound a little unorthodox, but I promise you it’s the nicest honey-mustard dill sauce you’ve tried.
To make a small bowlful (enough for ten people or more) you’ll need:
4 rounded tablespoons mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s)
1 level tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 level tablespoon clear honey
2 teaspoons soya sauce (I used Kikkoman)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (or more to taste)
Just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl until everything is well-blended, and chill for a few hours before serving so the flavours mingle. I prefer freshly ground black pepper in this recipe, and usually use far more dill – two of the regular-sized supermarket packs, or about five tablespoons when chopped finely.