Wastelander Skills #3: Homemade Condiments

“Condiments are like old friends-highly thought of, but often taken for granted.” 

Marilyn Kaytor

Since the dawn of culinary science, we’ve devoted a great deal of effort into enhancing or disguising the flavors of our food via spices, sauces, and condiments. Wars have been fought, trade routes pioneered, and countless lives lost in the pursuit of better flavors.  It’s never been more prevalent than today, when a large majority of our diet consists of over-processed, sub-par food laden with preservatives.  Basically, condiments are an important part of our culture.

If the grocery stores and fast food joints get closed down and picked clean, your personal stockpile of spices and condiments (whether bottles or a drawer full of scavenged packets) will eventually diminish or get traded as culinary currency.  Then, a day will come when you’ll be sitting down to your canned hash or dried squirrel, and you’ll be thinking back to the days when tiny packets of ketchup and mustard were FREE, and you’ll wish you knew where those delicious, colorful and oft underappreciated substances came from. Small underground springs? Exotic birds? Space?

Nay, wastelander. Condiments are actually very simple to make in your own home – but we’re not a culture celebrates self-sufficiency anymore, but rather the ability to accumulate and trade fiat currency for every good and service we require.

So, in the spirit of self-sufficiency, here are simple recipes for your favorite condiments – including some you can’t buy in the grocery store. If you have any others, add them as a comment below, or send them to me and I’ll add them to the list!


“Shake and shake The catsup bottle, None will come, And then a lot’ll” – Anonymous
1 six ounce can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons molasses
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 1/4 cups water
Mix everything together and simmer for an hour.


“I send you a kaffis of mustard seed, that you may taste and acknowledge the bitterness of my victory.” – Alexander the Great
Mustard is possibly the easiest condiment to prepare at home. Simply mix water and mustard powder and dilute to your desired strength. You can use salt and vinegar to adjust the flavor and white flower to thicken the mustard. To make mustard powder from seeds, soak the mustard seeds in water for a few hours to soften them and then grind them into powder in a mortar and pestle. For honey mustard, mix in honey to taste – it’s really that simple.

Yellow Mayo

“Gentiles are people who eat mayonnaise for no reason.” – Robin Williams
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together all ingredients but oil, then slowly add the oil drop by drop, briskly whisking. Once all the oil has been added, continue whisking until the consistency is mayo-esque. This mayo will be yellow because of the addition of the egg yolks, whereas most store-bought mayo uses the whites. For white mayo, simply replace the two egg yolks with two egg whites…naturally.

Miracle Whip

“I said Yo Jay, I can rap. And I spit this rap that said I’m killin’ ya’ll *****s on this lyrical shit, mayonnaise colored benz, I push miracle whips.” – Kanye West
Making miracle whip is almost identical to making Mayo, but add in the following ingredients before whipping in the oil:
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
You may need to whip in slightly more oil due to the addition of additional dry ingredients – just add oil by the drop until you have the desired consistency.

Ranch Dressing

The lubricant of the midwestern digestive system.
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup homemade mayo
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon of dry dill (or a teaspoon chopped fresh)
Mix buttermilk and mayo thoroughly until blended, and then stir in other ingredients.

French Dressing

“Dressing is a way of life.” – Yves Saint Laurent
1 1/3 cup Sugar
4 teaspoon Paprika
2/3 cup homemade ketchup
½ cup Vinegar
1 cup Oil
1 Small Onion, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and Garlic powder to taste
Make just like mayo – blend everything but the oil, and then slowly stir in the oil.


She had an itty bitty, teeny weeny, helping of homemade tahini.
5 cups sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
Toast the sesame seeds, but do not allow them to brown.  After 5 or 10 minutes, grind the sesame seeds into powder and add the oil slowly while stirring until you have a pourable consistency.


The only reason you’ll ever make tahini.
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons homemade tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain the liquid from the chickpeas or garbanzo beans and set aside. Add back a quarter of the liquid and mash and blend all the ingredients into the peas/beans until smooth.

McDougal’s Big Mack Sauce

Scotland’s finest.
1 cup homemade Miracle Whip
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup homemade French dressing, to taste
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
Stir together, refrigerate for an hour.

R.B.’s Sauce

I could eat a ten-gallon hat full.
2 cups homemade ketchup
4 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Mix, bring to a boil, and let cool.

R.B.’s Horse Sauce

Because every cowboy needs a horse…sauce.
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup homemade mayo
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons horseradish
Dissolve salt and sugar in vinegar. Thoroughly stir in other ingredients.

Father Juan’s Garlic Sauce

The only good thing Father Juan ever delivered to the lord’s house.
1/2 cup margarine spread
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine and stir over low heat until melted.

Taco Campana Fire Sauce

Hours later, doubled over and sweating, you’ll say “Totally worth it.
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons finely minced canned jalapeno slices
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
dash garlic powder
Mix water and tomato sauce until smooth, add ingredients and heat over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Kay Eff See Honey BBQ sauce

This Colonel takes YOUR orders.
1 1/4 cups homemade ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Mix over low heat until combined, bring to a boil, then let cool.

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