CUTTING THE MUSTARD
When Rebecca Lockwood acquired her mother-in-law’s mustard recipe in 2012, she began making it for family and friends and giving it as gifts. “Everyone loved it!” she says. Rebecca, who works fulltime at Saks Fifth Avenue in Tulsa, contacted S&S Processing in Mustang, OK, to begin preparing the very special recipe commercially in 2014.
Joan (pronounced Jo-ANN) Lockwood is the mustard’s namesake and original creator. Her college freshman photo is featured on the jar label. She was a Tulsa original and the Lockwood family has been part of the Tulsa community for over 100 years.
Joan attended Wellesley (located outside of Boston) with the intention of becoming a professional singer and entertainer. She met Robert (Bob) Lockwood Jr. and they fell in love and married. Her mother-in-law, Francis Lockwood, was the founder and first president of the Tulsa Junior League. Joan and Bob had six children, all of whom graduated from Holland Hall (they hold the record for most siblings in the school!)
She and Bob shared a love for tennis and she was founder and first president of the Tulsa Area Tennis Association, national vice president of the U.S. Tennis Association, board member of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation for 40 years and a strong supporter of women’s and civil rights.
Joan and her husband were known for their legendary parties where Joan would serve her fine condiment creation. For their 40th wedding anniversary they transformed their midtown home into a New York nightclub, with Bobby Short entertaining! Bob and Joan were married for 51 years. He passed away in 1997 and she in 1998.
Rebecca’s husband, Robert, remembers that his parents would have the mustard out for dipping with cheese and crackers or other snacks with a little libation in the evening. The mustard is bold, sweet and spicy. Rebecca says it “is ideal, not only for sandwiches, but as your secret ingredient to soups, casseroles. I’ve made salad dressing with it and a very simple cheese ball. It’s just cream cheese mixed with the mustard, formed into a ball, then rolled in chopped nuts.” She says it is idiot proof.
Rebecca says that her mother-in-law was a wonderful woman and she hopes she would be very proud. Robert says she would think it is “a hoot.”
Joan’s mustard along with Joan’s seasoned salt can be purchased at Petty’s, R. Lockwood, Stonehorse Market, Mecca Coffee Company, Harvard Meats and Margo’s as well as The Gadget Co., and Day Dreamer Flower Shop in Sapulpa. Her products are also available online at JoansMustard.com.
THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER
Chef Grant Vespasian has been cooking his way around some of Tulsa’s best restaurants for almost 20 years. He skipped culinary school and started working in a bakery while still in high school.
Over the years he has worked his way up the ladder, learning from some of the best chefs in Tulsa. Most recently he has honed his skills at The Palace Café, the highly awarded Polo Grill, The Tavern on Brady and The Hen. Grant’s cooking style has been described as subtle, sophisticated and emphasizing each ingredient.
His most recent endeavor, though, helps others enjoy their time and be more efficient in the kitchen: sharpening knives. Being the great chef he is, Grant usually ended up helping with dinner when invited to a dinner party. And more times than not he was forced to use very expensive but very dull knives. So he decided to change things.
“After years of being taught bad technique and having not-so-sharp knives, I searched for good technique. I talked to other chefs who had very sharp knives and after doing some research, I finally got it down. It was very gratifying, like when you execute a recipe to perfection and then eat it!” says Chef Grant.
He uses Japanese water stones with grit up to 6,000 and plans to acquire a 10,000 grit stone and a strop (leather sharpening strap) to get a super sharp edge. All knives are sharpened by hand instead of on a wheel. He offers his services to home cooks as well as professional chefs and restaurants.
“Most home cooks that go buy a nice set of expensive knives don’t sharpen their knives ever and they don’t realize how dull their knives have gotten until they have them sharpened,” he says. “Keeping them sharp makes cooking easier and more enjoyable while also cutting prep time down. A sharp knife is a happy knife! You are at more risk of cutting yourself on a dull knife than on a sharp one since dull knives slip off the food and cut your fingers.”
He recommends sharpening well-made knives, as sharpening cheap knives won’t be worth the time or effort. And just what knife should you purchase?
“If someone is interested in investing in good knives then I recommend they go to the store and put the knife in their hand to see what feels good to them. That is more important than if it’s German, French, Japanese or whatever. It’s like a pair of shoes or a pair of jeans.
You want to feel comfortable with them. Some are light, some are heavy, right handers, left handers, and so on.” Your knife set may include a honing steel that merely hones the knife blade, helps maintain a sharp edge and removes any burrs that might have accumulated. It can be used to realign your blade but it doesn’t sharpen the blade; only stones do that.
Chef Grant’s fees are $15 for knives of eight inches and up and $10 for knives under eight inches and he doesn’t sharpen serrated or ceramic knives. A price break is available for large orders. For your convenience, he will make house or business calls or customers can drop off their knives at his restaurants. Contact him for a quote at firstname.lastname@example.org.