Author Topic: Need another addictive hobby?  (Read 2811 times)

Offline denny

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Need another addictive hobby?
« on: March 15, 2010, 11:03:16 AM »
I'd been thinking of starting to make my own mustard.  After reading this, maybe I won't....

Man On Internet Almost Falls Into World Of DIY Mustard Enthusiasts
March 11, 2010 |  Issue 46•10

Steve Gibson sits at a desk that was once covered with mustard paraphernalia.
DES MOINES, IA--When Steve Gibson first became casually involved with an online community of mustard makers, he had no idea his mild interest in the condiment would, within a few short months, spiral dangerously out of control.But Gibson, unlike so many others, managed to get out before the hobby consumed his entire life.
"I don't know how I wound up at that point, but thank God I escaped when I did," Gibson, 41, said Friday. "There I was, a grown man, planning a trip to the Mustard Museum in Wisconsin, when suddenly I heard a voice deep within me say, 'This is not what you want your life to be about.'"
"It was like waking up from a bad dream," Gibson added. "A bad yellow and brown dream."
Gibson's descent into the depths of mustard obsession started innocently enough, when he got involved in an Internet exchange about the best kind of mustard to use on a grilled bratwurst. When someone posted a link encouraging him to "click on this if you really want to spice things up," he took the stranger's advice and suddenly found himself on MustardMonster.com, a discussion group devoted to the cultivation, preparation, and enjoyment of the table-side condiment.
"I immediately realized I was out of my league," Gibson said of his first encounter with the Internet's do-it-yourself mustard community. "At that point I had maybe three different kinds of mustard in my refrigerator, but when I looked at their forum topics, these guys were talking about the strengths of unique varieties of imported mustard seeds, brewing your own vinegar for mustard-making, ways to improve store-bought mustard when you find yourself in a pinch. That...that was the start of what I now call my 'lost year.'"
Over the next few weeks, Gibson broadened his palette with many new and "exciting" mustards, an experiment that soon led him down a path toward compulsive mustard connoisseurship.
After an inquiry about a good place to get starter supplies for mustard-making received eight enthusiastic responses, an emboldened Gibson looked through the group's archives to familiarize himself with its etiquette and tastes. It was there that he first learned about mustard's use in various folk remedies: how to relieve chest congestion by making a plaster from the condiment, or keep feet warm by sprinkling dry seeds into one's shoes.
Initially, Gibson's family encouraged his new interest, saying they were pleased he had found something to do with his spare time and that he was cooking more in order to show off the mustards he made.
"I thought it was pretty neat at first," said Gibson's wife, Heather. "After a while, though, it seemed like every conversation we had was about something the people on his mustard website said. One night I woke up at 3 a.m. and found him bathed in the light of the computer screen, posting his latest mustard thoughts to the message boards."
"That's when I realized the mustard had come between us," she added.
When a MustardMonster member who was "deep into the lifestyle" suggested Gibson till up his yard to grow his own mustard plants, the 41-year-old didn't even balk at the idea. By this point, Gibson said, mustard had become his only reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Coworkers had begun to shun him, friends grew distant. Soon every Tupperware container in his home was filled with the rich, yellow condiment, and Gibson began dumping out half-empty jars of jam and olives in a desperate attempt to find receptacles for his latest zesty concoctions.
It was only when Gibson started getting angry, even enraged, by mustard-related issues that he started realize he had become entangled in a dense, thickening web of mustard obsession.
"I saw my wife putting French's mustard on a bologna sandwich for our 5-year-old son, and I just lost control," Gibson said. "I said things--awful things that I'm not proud of--and the two of them were clearly shaken. I can never take those words back. When I looked in the mirror and barely recognized that livid face staring back at me, I finally understood that these mustard people weren't really my friends."
Sensing he was on the brink of an abyss and fearing what would happen if he hit rock bottom, Gibson--with the support of his wife, who packed a mayonnaise-dressed sandwich in his lunch each day--made the decision to quit mustard for good.
"The craving never leaves you, of course," Gibson said. "Sometimes I'll be in the supermarket, and without realizing it, I'll find myself staring at a nice deli-style or ballpark mustard."
Added Gibson: "But then I walk away. I think about my family, remember that Dijon-slathering, watery-eyed zombie I nearly became, and I walk away."
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 04:06:49 PM by denny »
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 11:11:25 AM »
Wow, too bad he didn't try to make any mustard beer before he quit......   ;D

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 11:42:13 AM »
I thought I was getting obsessive about beer.  But it's beer.  Not something crazy like mustard.  It's beer.  It's important.  It's beer.  Nobody would fault a grown man for being passionate about beer.  After all, it's beer.  I'm starting to itch, pass me a beer.
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 11:43:05 AM »
I see myself in that guy.  ;D

The fact is too much of any one thing is bad for you. It can happen to anyone if you have the right personality. Homebrewing is an obsession for me. Although I can turn it on and off voluntarily. I guess he just didn't know when to say enough is enough.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 12:24:23 PM »
I love the Onion.. they run so close to the edge of Poe's law (but applied to any sort of extreme behavior) so often that you just get confused.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/man_on_internet_almost_falls_into
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Offline denny

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 12:52:02 PM »
So, do you suppose the person who wrote that article is a homebrewer?
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 02:03:52 PM »
Closest I have gotten to making my own mustard is a vendaloo paste...black mustard seeds and vinegar being core components.

But funny article...knew it had to be the Onion!

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Need another adictive hobby?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 02:24:59 PM »
So, do you suppose the person who wrote that article is a homebrewer?

Don't know, but they're funny as hell, that's for sure.
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Offline Beertracker

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 08:23:58 PM »
Denny's next project will be called Old Stoner Ground Mustard!  ;D 
CHEERS! Jeff
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Offline denny

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 09:08:20 AM »
Denny's next project will be called Old Stoner Ground Mustard!  ;D 

OOH!  OOH!  What a great idea!  :)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2010, 09:24:52 AM »
Denny's next project will be called Old Stoner Ground Mustard!  ;D 

OOH!  OOH!  What a great idea!  :)

Just make sure you bulk age that bad boy.  :D
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Offline denny

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 09:55:51 AM »
Denny's next project will be called Old Stoner Ground Mustard!  ;D 

OOH!  OOH!  What a great idea!  :)

Just make sure you bulk age that bad boy.  :D

I've got a couple cases of 2 year old Stoner around.  I just don't drink that much BW these days.  I just may have to try a batch of mustard using some.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Beertracker

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2010, 10:11:59 AM »
Just remember me when you're rich & famous!  :D
CHEERS! Jeff
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Offline denny

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 10:23:08 AM »
Just remember me when you're rich & famous!  :D

Um, I'll remember you anyway, Jeff!  ;) 
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Need another addictive hobby?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2010, 10:36:32 AM »
I love this stuff with grilled sausages and lentils.

Ron Price