Because you can never have too much mustard.

When a friend asked me on Friday whether I had any weekend plans, I replied, Going to a Viking-themed bar and the National Mustard Museum tomorrow. You know, the usual.

I wasn’t kidding.

I forgot to mention the trip to Atomic Antiques, a cavernous vintage store dedicated to all things Mid-Century Modern, which happens to be Tara’s favorite design style. It’s really grown on me too, though I also like Atomic Age and kitschy ’70s decor. No surprise given all those lava lamps.

If you’ve ever seen The Brady Bunch, you have a pretty good idea of what MCM looks like.

In other words: groovy, baby!

We’re lucky, because Frank Lloyd Wright – famed architect whose homes perfectly reflect MCM styling – is a Wisconsin native who attended UW-Madison and designed many of the city’s buildings. His estate, Taliesin, is located in nearby Spring Green and open to the public for tours. There are quite a few MCM homes in the area, even here in Fort Atkinson. It would be our dream to end up with a property like that. Oh, and if it came with an Alice? Sweeter still!

This is why we spent 90 minutes wandering around Atomic Antiques yesterday.

We ended up buying that print in the bottom right corner, as well as an orange fondue pot. Honestly, we could have emptied our bank account in that place, but figured we should probably own a house before actually decorating it.

Our next stop was the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. My friend Ashley seemed perplexed that there’s an entire museum dedicated to mustard and said, I didn’t know mustard was something people felt strongly about.

Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I’ve always been a huge mustard fan. So much so that I once penned a Valentine’s Day ode to mustard right here on ye olde blog. At any given time, there are four or five bottles in the fridge. I’m also a fan of kitschy museums, so clearly, this was a match made in heaven.

The museum did not disappoint. 10/10, would totally recommend. The gift shop featured hundreds of different mustards. After trying a few samples, I bought a blue cheese herb mustard and a bourbon mustard. Easily could have picked out another half dozen, but our kitchen space is sadly limited at the moment.

Just you wait ’til we have our Brady Bunch house, though.

As if all that culture hadn’t already made for a pretty fantastic day, we weren’t done yet. Our next stop was Stoughton, where I’d seen an Instagram post for the Viking Brew Pub the day before and knew we had to check it out. In addition to the bar shaped like a Viking ship – smoke even issues from its nostrils periodically! – they’ve got pretty good grub. I ordered the Saturday special Norwegian meatballs and Tara got a burger, then we wandered around downtown for a few minutes. Stoughton has a strong Norwegian heritage, hence the brewpub and Scandinavian architecture, and has two unique claims to fame: it’s the birthplace of both the coffee break (there’s a festival to honor this every year) and community television, with the oldest operating community cable channel in the country, WSTO TV.

Fun fact: while we’re primarily focused on finding a house here in Fort Atkinson, Stoughton is one of a small handful of towns on our list. It would be closer to Madison without actually being in Madison. We would have spent more time exploring, but it was really cold out, and the sun was close to setting.

Then, on the drive home, it did.

All in all, a pretty great day. It was nice to get out and do something again; it had been a few weeks since we went adventuring!

Do you have a favorite design style? Do you marvel over mustard like Mark, or are you more of a ketchup condiment connoisseur?

72 thoughts on “Because you can never have too much mustard.

  1. Well now I just left a comment about the Mustard Museum on your IG account. I’ve been there. It was a hoot. I like how mustard disses ketchup. Who knew there was rivalry? Wonder what pickle relish has to say about it?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. God, it drives me crazy. They think they’re so much better than other condiments.

        “Look at me, I’m a chutney. I can be made from fruits AND vegetables. I get along with a wide range of dishes, unlike you one-note lowlifes.”

        GAH. Go take a long walk off a short pier, chutney!

        Like

  2. Of all the jars of mustard on the one picture, the one that popped out into my line of vision immediately was the cranberry chardonnay one and it just so happens I’m mentioning something related on my Tarot Tuesday post which is already written and scheduled to release in the wee hours of Tuesday morning…

    Great post! I kinda wanna move to Wisconsin now. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wisconsin is the biggest cranberry producer in the U.S. by a longshot, so I bet that one’s pretty good, too. All the more reason to go back!

      Looking forward to this mysterious cranberry-themed Tarot card post now…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s a much more difficult choice for me, though I like the variety and LOVE the idea of samples! I’m surprised at Ashley, though! Who doesn’t take their mustard seriously? 😁 Speaking of, just yesterday we opened one of our newly purchased Dijon mustards, mixed in some horseradish and sampled a little piece of heaven 😋 🤤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love this! One of the seven mustards currently taking up refrigerator space (yes, I counted after posting this) is a horseradish mustard. People who aren’t fans don’t realize just how much difference certain mustards can make in particular dishes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The horseradish mustard is Signature Select, which is Safeway’s house brand. Though, we don’t have any Safeways out here. I’m sure with all the brats sold in Wisconsin, plus the Mustard Museum, of course, it should still be easy to find. (Yes, we brought the mustard with us when we moved.)

        OK, in addition to the horseradish mustard, I also have classic French’s yellow; Grey Poupon; Plochman’s “The Works” Chicago hot dog mustard; dill pickle mustard; spicy brown mustard; blue cheese and herb mustard; and bourbon mustard. Which is actually eight! Oh, and MayoMust. Which means 8.5, ha.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol @1/2 🙂 Though the blue cheese one sounds like a 1/2, too 😛

        I wish I could find a really good horseradish mustard… Until then, I get a good dijon and a good horseradish and mix them in … in equal portions 😀 I like horseradish! Does that count as a 1/2 mustard, too? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. While I don’t share your fondness for the Brady Bunch or MCM… that mustard museum is da bomb! Definitely my type of tourist attraction. Top it all off with a Viking brew pub and it sounds like one perfect day.
    👍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is so much going on in this post Mark. Colorado daughter and I would often hit the antique stores for a few laughs while I relived my 60’s-70’s childhood and she looked on in horror. We could have had a great time at Atomic Antiques, and I am not at all a fan of MCM. I prefer old, dark ornate Victorian thank you! I also got stuck on the cheese curd sign until I saw the meatballs. My Danish side is now craving both. Even just the gravy would make me happy. Stoughton would be high on my list as a settling place. Finally-Yellow mustard is for hotdogs. That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And brats, and sandwiches, and deviled eggs, and pancakes (okay, maybe not pancakes), and and and and…

      I can just imagine the look on CO daughter’s face, haha! That alone would have made the antiquing worthwhile, even if you didn’t buy anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m laughing about ” we should probably own a house before actually decorating it.”

    Yes, but once you do have a house, you can fill it with MCM and mustard. Won’t that be fun.

    Love the sunset picture. Glad you guys were out adventuring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really, really want a bar in the basement. How cool would that be! But it would be pointless to stock up on accessories when we don’t even know whether our basement would have room for a bar (or whether we’ll even have a basement for that matter, though 99% of homes out here do).

      Of course, I could always manifest myself a bar! I hear manifesting works well for some people…

      Like

    1. Try to think of the Insta posts as bonus episodes of your favorite TV show! Outtakes. Sneak previews. A behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the making of something special.

      See? It’s all about perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I ever don’t comment on a post and it’s been a few days, call me out on it! I’ve either overlooked it somehow or am lying in the corner dead. Either way, I appreciate you looking out for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I do love mustard but sadly, I can’t eat most of the things I used to put mustard on (hot dogs, lunch meat). However, I have discovered that whole grain mustard is delicious with a hunk of cheese, thanks to charcuterie boards.

    And this is bizarre, but I’ve been to the Bomb Shelter in Akron that is the twin to your Atomic Antiques!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whole grain mustard on cheese? You’d think that would be something I’ve tried (and loved), but…nope! Must rectify that soon.

      I looked up The Bomb Shelter, and yes! So much MCM vintage goodness!!

      Like

  7. I’ve learned to tolerate small amounts of mustard in certain dishes, but I’m not a huge fan. I’d still go see the museum, though. At first I thought those Brady pics looks like waxworks! If you like MCM, check out Palm Springs. I felt like I was in the Bradys’ neighborhood when I cycled the city streets there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would have liked the mustard museum for sure (as long as they had Ed McCaffrey’s!), but the orange and avocado of MCM are pretty much my least favorite colors. On the other hand, my husband makes a mean cheese fondue! There’s actually a Scandinavian soccer club out here in LA–one of the first big clubs in the area, created in the 50s or 60s and named after a Viking ship, I think. It’s mostly youth soccer now, but it was where Rod Stewart played, once upon a time. The field isn’t far from us and we see the Viking ship emblem on a lot of cars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara and I love orange and avocado green. In fact, I would love to find a vintage working avocado green fridge like those lucky Brady kids had. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! She has all the fun!

      Cool story about the soccer team. I guess I had no idea Rod Stewart was ever anything more than a singer. Or that Ed McCaffrey has his own lineup of mustard. How did this fact escape my consciousness?!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Atomic Antiques has been added to my list of day trips. I enjoy MCM design, so that would be an interesting place to visit.
    I’m not a ketchup fan, so a mustard museum would be appealing to me as well.
    And that Viking ship bar??  You’re discovering THE COOLEST spots up there. Wisconsin is extremely fortunate to have you two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we’re extremely fortunate to be here! Honestly, the cheese curds at the Viking bar weren’t on par with some of our favorites. But did you happen to notice the Viking ship in the bar?? I mean, c’mon. How could we not check it out?!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As usual now, I am excited about all these goings-on! Before I downsized, I bought an old cabinet-style stereo and was retrofitting it to be a bar (an ice bucket fit in perfectly where the turntable used to be). I had my eye on a decanter and glasses that were gradually frosted and bottomed out in various colors. I called it Star Trek: the Original Series style. Man, I miss collecting cool things. But I guess my home is MCM in a way, so there’s that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had not one, but two, cabinet-style stereo systems over the years. Loved them both, but unfortunately, each one quit working. MCM has its pluses, but when it comes to music, I’m sticking with modern turntables nowadays.

      Like

  11. What a gorgeous day it was for what seemed to be a day spent in Heaven for you! MCM is not my thing, nor is mustard but our differences is what makes the world go around! Fun post to read Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Although our decor tends more contemporary, I love MCM too… it reminds my of my childhood. If you lived closer, I would probably pass on a few items I still have after cleaning out my parent’s home for sale. If you don’t already know about him, you should google Charles Phoenix and, maybe follow him on IG and FB. And, if you ever find yourselves in Southern California in mid-February, you NEED to attend Modernism Week in Palm Springs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably the odds of us being in Southern California in mid-February are slim to nonexistent, but if the planets ever do all align that way, I will be sure to add that to our list!

      Like

  13. White I am very much Team Mustard, I do have some affection for Ketchup as well. I do know there have been some spirited debates about which one to use in certain instances, but I also like hearing when people use them as an accessory to foods not normally thought of as being eligible. For example, I like to have a bit of ketchup nearby when I have eggs and toast for breakfast, even if there is no breakfast meat involved. My wife doesn’t understand that but then again, she’s still trying to figure me out lol. I don’t have a favorite design style. A man of simple pleasures, I just know comfortable when I see it and go from there. Atomic Antiques looks great, and I’d be leaving there with less money than when I went in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like ketchup, too. In fact, like you, I enjoy it on scrambled eggs…which sometimes gets an eyeroll. I don’t normally judge people on their food choices (to each their own, of course), but I once dated a woman who put ketchup on her tacos. THAT I judged. Judged the hell out of it, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You put ketchup on your eggs like I, but you in turn judged that poor woman who used it on tacos? That IS funny. I’ll get an omelet with toast and hash browns, and the ketchup will “get” on all three before I am done. My wife just shakes her head.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mustard rules, ketchup drools.
    I’m a mustard fan, but I suppose I’m a blue-collar type of mustard person because I like plain ole yellow mustard. My husband, however, who I’ve nicknamed The Condiment King has many flavors of mustard taking up real estate in our fridge.
    The museum looks fun but hold me back….I need to go to Atomic Antiques. I see so many glimpses of my childhood there! I love MCM, but it doesn’t work with our home aesthetic; I do appreciate it though, and I hope you get a house where it will be fitting along with Alice.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There are some Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Kalamazoo. I’ve read about them and the “authentic” remodels that have been done to some of them. I must get there to see them someday, whenever that may be. I am also sort of a fan of MCM because basically I like most of the things that were popular in that time period. I thought about using it as a decorating theme in my new pad, but since it’s now so popular it has become expensive! Decor in my past homes has generally been been Southwestern but I am so past that for many reasons. Is there such a thing as a Midwestern decor? I put ketchup on a lot of stuff (though not cottage cheese as I have heard some people do). I also find mustard to be versatile as a flavoring in a similar manner, though I’ve never tried that on cottage cheese and don’t intend to.

    Liked by 1 person

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