Growing up I remember a lot of woman who didn't drive; women who didn't drive just because but because they never learned how. I grew up during the height of feminism and equal rights . . . and it’s inconceivable to me that a woman wouldn’t know how or even want to know how to drive a car. But, most of these women were throwbacks to an older time when women were considered emotionally and physically weak and, therefore, could not be skilled, reactive drivers. I can’t imagine being completely dependent on someone else to get to where I want or need to go.
And, yet, in Saudi Arabia and other countries women are not allowed to drive. While it’s not illegal for them to drive, it is a nationally accepted custom. The basis of the convention is due to strict Islamic laws. Not only are women are not allowed to drive by they aren’t permitted to leave their houses without a male guardian’s permission and if they do manage to escape the confines of their abode they must wear a cloth that covers up their entire body including their faces.
It seems archaic even barbaric; however, even now in the United States of America . . . the land of the free . . . there are communities where women aren’t allowed to drive. The strictest Orthodox Jewish societies it is mandated by religious law. It is forbidden for a Jewish woman to drive a car; she may travel as a passenger in a car . . . but only in the back seat!
I drive, of course. I’ve been driving since I was sixteen. I own a car and a motorcycle . . . I can get myself where I need to go without the aid, assistance or permission of anyone. That is unless I’m riding with my husband. He doesn’t “let “ me drive; primarily because he hates the way I drive. I say he doesn’t ”let” me drive but that’s not exactly accurate . . . I just let him think that. Frankly, I would prefer not to drive if I don’t have to. That gives me a plethora of time and opportunity to other things . . . like nap, catch up on reading, knit, or whatever. So, if hubby insists on driving . . . that’s alright with me! You go to it, babe.
Spicy Guinness Mustard
1 12-oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1 1⁄2 cups brown mustard seeds (10 oz.)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1–2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and the flavors meld.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until the seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. I don't have a food processor so I used my blender.
Transfer to a jar and cover.
Refrigerate overnight and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 months. (The flavor of the mustard will mellow as the condiment ages.)
MAKES 3 1⁄2 CUPS