Mustard's Final Stand

Mustard's Final Stand.mp3

Em / E sus4 / G#m / B


I've been thinking hard,
About mustard,
And, how I've been a retard...
Thinking only to squirt,
On dog or burger.

But, thinking further...
It's a plant,
Growing in the dirt.

I didn't see,
More vitamin C,
Than an orange.

Huge amounts,
Where it counts,
Of A,
B... iron, phosphorous,
And, calcium,
What do you say,
More for both of us?
(I know I am.)

The Greeks did speak,
And, the Bible did tell,
How it helps the weak,
Get well.

Mental ability,
As you pass,
Through the looking glass.

One of the most ancient spices,
It slices and dices,
Though its seed is small,
There's enough faith for all,
Though, I concede,
I can't give Gautami,
Mustard seed...
But, eating plenty,
Might lend,
To being healthy...
Might extend,
My longevity,
Not so quickly,
To nix Krisha's,


From McCormick Foodservice's "Herbs & Spices"

There are two commercially important classes of herbs from which Mustard Seed is derived; Brassica hirta which produces white or yellow seeds and Brassica juncea which produces brown and Oriental seeds. Both types exhibit a sharp taste.

Mustard Seed is used in pickling spices for vegetables and meats. Dry Mustard is used in egg and cheese dishes, salad dressings, and meats. Mustard is used in French, German, Scandinavian, and Irish cuisines.

Most Mustard Seed is imported into the United States from Canada. The non-volatile components of Brassica hirta are responsible for its flavor which is sharp but lacks pungency. Brassica juncea, however, possess a volatile oil which gives the seed its hot, pungent and biting flavor.

Mustard can be considered one of our most ancient spices. Its medicinal properties were written about 5 centuries before Christ and it is believed to have been used in Africa and China centuries before that. It was immortalized in the Bible when Jesus spoke of the power of faith "even if it were no larger than a Mustard Seed". The modern era for Mustard Seed began in 1720 when a Mrs. Clements of Durham, England, found a way to mill the heart of the seed to a fine flour. This became the standard method of processing the seed for use as a spice, both in cooking and in prepared mustards. Americans have become by far the largest consumers of Mustard Seed.

Excerpt from Siddhartha Becomes The Buddha by Sri Chinmoy
The Buddha Needs A Few Mustard Seeds (act I, Scene I)

(The Buddha is in deep meditation with his eyes wide open. Enter Krisha Gautami, carrying her dead child. She places the child at the feet of the Buddha.)
GAUTAMI: O Sage, O Master, O Lord, O Light of the World, please, please bring back life to my child. He is my only child.
BUDDHA: Gautami, don't cry, don't weep. Just do as I say.
GAUTAMI: O Master, I shall do anything that you want, immediately. Only bring back my child's life.
BUDDHA: Gautami, I wish you to bring me a few mustard seeds. But they must come from a family that has not been visited by death. Remember, you must bring me the mustard seeds only from a house that has not been visited by death.
GAUTAMI: O Master, that is so easy. I shall go and bring mustard seeds for you. Then will you be able to cure my son?
BUDDHA: Yes, Gautami, I shall be able to do it if you can bring me mustard seeds from a house where there has not been any death.

The Buddha Needs A Few Mustard Seeds (act I, Scene Ii)
(Gautami is going from door to door.)

GAUTAMI: O Mother, please give me some mustard seeds. My only child has died and the Buddha has told me that if I bring him some mustard seeds he will bring life back to my child.
LADY: Don't worry. I will bring them to you.
GAUTAMI: O venerable lady, please wait. First tell me, has anybody died in your family?
LADY: When?
GAUTAMI: Any time.
LADY: Just last year I lost my husband.
(She begins to weep.)
GAUTAMI: Then I cannot take your mustard seeds.
(Gautami sheds bitter tears and goes to another house. A man opens the door.)
GAUTAMI: My Lord, please give me a few mustard seeds. I need them badly.
MAN: Certainly, I will give you mustard seeds. I shall get them for you.
GAUTAMI: First, please tell me, has anybody died in your family?
MAN: Ah, just last week I lost my wife, my dearest on earth.
GAUTAMI: Ah, then I cannot take the mustard seeds from you.
(Gautami again sheds bitter tears and goes to another house. A young girl opens the door.)
GAUTAMI: My child, you are so beautiful. Please bring me a few mustard seeds. Please go and ask your mother to give me some mustard seeds.
LITTLE GIRL: I know where my mother keeps mustard seeds. I will bring them for you.
GAUTAMI: Please tell me what your father does?
LITTLE GIRL: My father? (Starts crying.) My father is in Heaven. Just two months ago my father died all of a sudden.

GAUTAMI: My child, I cannot take your mustard seeds.

(Weeping, Gautami goes to another door.)
The Buddha Needs A Few Mustard Seeds (act I, Scene Iii)
(Gautami returns to the Buddha.)

GAUTAMI: O Master, I have been to many places. Each family has lost someone. It seems that there is no family that has not suffered from death.
BUDDHA: Gautami, you are right. No family on earth can say that death has not visited it. You are suffering, and like you many, many others are suffering. Many have suffered and many will suffer. Not just many, Gautami-all. Everyone has to suffer from death. We came from Light and we shall go back to Light.
GAUTAMI: But, Father, he was my only child. How can I be consoled? Who will console me?
BUDDHA: Who will console you, Gautami? I will console you.
GAUTAMI: Please console me, Father. You are the only one who can do it.
BUDDHA: Gautami, as long as there is life there will also be death. Birth is bound to be followed by death, and death is bound to be followed by birth. Now, Gautami, I shall tell you the cause of sorrow. You have lost your only child. Your life is overwhelmed with sorrow. But the cause of your sorrow is not death. The cause of sorrow is desire. The day you conquer desire you conquer sorrow, too. Pray and meditate. You will conquer desire, and at that moment you will see that Light and Delight have become your constant friends.
GAUTAMI: O Sage, you are my Master. Today I know you. I have nobody on earth, nobody. I have no husband, I have no child-nobody but you. You are my All. You have consoled me. Now what I need from you is inner illumination. I shall dedicate my entire life to you unconditionally, wholeheartedly. It is through my dedicated service to you, Master, that I shall achieve my illumination.
BUDDHA: Gautami, you are right, absolutely right. My child, your life is destined to enter into the realm of eternal Bliss. Meditate on God. Meditate on Truth. You will attain Peace, Joy and Bliss.

Sri Chinmoy

From Las Vegas Review-Journal
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Barry Levenson is, as you'd imagine, a walking treasure trove of mustard folklore, trivia and miscellaneous knowledge.

Shakespeare wrote about mustard, Levenson notes. Mustard seeds make appearances in the Bible. Alice encountered mustard on her trip through the looking glass.

And while most baby boomers know of the Beatles' "Mean Mr. Mustard," who but Levenson would know the lyrics to 1961's "Mustard," an otherwise forgotten ditty by the otherwise forgotten Dittos:

Get up in the morning, what's the first thing that I crave? Is Mustard (yeah), Keep it 'neath my pillow, makes a lump but I'm a slave to my Mustard (yeah) ...

Sometimes, at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, Levenson confesses, "we'll just start singing -- well, lip-syncing -- that song."

In fact, Levenson knows so much about mustard that he can tell you the story behind America's most well-known mustard-related figure of speech: Cutting the mustard.

"There are a couple of theories about the origins of that phrase," he says. "One seems to be that it refers to the stalk of the mustard plant being very tough and fibrous. So, to `cut the mustard,' one had to be very skillful and strong."

Another theory, according to Levenson, holds that old-time diamond smugglers transporting diamonds from Belgium to France would hide the diamonds in stoneware crocks of mustard.

"When they got across the border, you couldn't ask a stranger, `Do you know anyone who could cut the diamonds?' But, you'd say, `Do you know who can cut the mustard?' That was supposed to be code."

"I like that theory," Levenson adds, "because I made it up."

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