When Kiri Nicholetts found herself with a batch of homemade mustard going spare after Christmas, she put up a sign in her Riverside window and began giving it away for free.
The friendly Miss Nicholetts, 28, who has lived in Wyndham Crescent, Riverside, for 10 months, is a freelance lighting technician for film and TV. Originally from Basingstoke, she has been cooking up festive gifts for her family for the past six years, starting when she was a skint student.
Her mustard recipe was put together from a few recipes online, but Miss Nicholetts overestimated how much mustard she would need and ended up with so much left over, she decided to give it away. She has put up two signs in her front window advertising the free mustard and anyone interested just has to knock on her door.
This mustard-diplomacy has helped her meet her neighbour and although Miss Nicholetts came up with her good-spirited plan to get rid of the 15 one ounce jars on December 23, there are still plenty left.
She said: “So I thought, ‘you know what, I’m just going to put up a sign and people can knock’. “It took a while for people to come round, maybe like two days or so. The guy that lives a couple of doors down came round with his kids for some, they were having a roast dinner.
“Every single person who has come round has been different to the last. We’ve had a couple of old ladies come round, and the postman wanted some the other day. Every different kind of person you could imagine, all of them local.
“They’ve all probably seen it for a couple of days and worked up the courage to knock on the door. Everyone that comes looks a little bit sheepish and I have to say ‘I know, you want some free mustard, it’s fine’.
“Because of my line of work, I usually do 12-14 hour days, six days a week. Socially you don’t end up meeting many people outside of the TV and film industry, so that was part of the reason for the sign. I thought ‘I might actually meet some new people doing this as well.’”
Miss Nicholetts handcrafted condiment comes in two flavours – garlic, honey and horseradish, and lemon, black pepper and white wine – and it keeps for about two months. A third blueberry and dark beer flavour did not turn out as tasty as the other two.
She said: “There was no saving it.”
Miss Nicholetts thinks that making things from scratch to giveaway pushes back against the instant gratification and consumer culture of modern times.
She said: “Since I’ve been making presents, everyone is so much happier with that than some perfume that doesn’t really mean anything. I don’t have to stress about going round all the shops at Christmas, it’s a win/win situation.”