I've encountered this phrase in nearly every D.E. Stevenson novel I've ever read; after the first two, I would look for it and get a zing of satisfaction when it appeared. The vivid simile is meant to convey enthusiasm. Examples of usage:
I'm as keen as mustard for our garden plans to get underway. All of our trees and shrubs from Edible Landsaping arrived yesterday; it was like Christmas opening up all of the boxes. Here's what I took out:
Cherries (sweet and sour!)
I planted the Sea Buckthorns and a Cherry from an earlier shipment a couple of weeks ago, and we already have one length of the fence lined with rasperries. Our original Summer Yard Boy had to quit after one Saturday's worth of work; he was injured at his weekday job. But we have a replacement crew arriving home from college later this week. They'll be able to plant all these worthy items and do a ton of weeding and wood splitting besides. It's so exciting!
I'm as keen as mustard about our Needlework Group. We met yesterday at my house and had a great time. We are quite loose in our interpretation of the term 'needlework.' One woman graded papers, three did beadwork, two knitted, and one cut and ironed squares for quilting. We had great conversation and a kitchen island's worth of yummy food. Here's what I worked on (Knitty's spring surprise Arietta, in yarn I bought in Paris):
I'm as keen as mustard about the salad I made for the Group. It's long been one of my favorites; for some reason I associate it with gatherings of women. It works well for baby showers and meetings of the Relief Society, and it came to mind yesterday as I was wondering what to prepare for lunch. Adriana posted a similar recipe recently, but this one is different and delicious enough to warrant publication.
2 cans black beans, rinsed and well drained
3 cans white shoepeg corn, drained
1 red onion, diced
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, diced
1 small can sliced black olives
2 ripe avocados, diced
The juice of 6 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Put the remaining ingredients in the blender and give them a whirl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix it well. Refrigerate for at least an hour so that the flavors can marry. Stir it up again before serving.
It's a very colorful salad; I wish I had taken a photo of it yesterday before the ladies genteelly gobbled it down. Of course, it is exponentially better with fresh corn, but we'll have to wait until later in the summer for that. It's also better if you cook the beans yourself, but it's awfully good just the way I've written it.
I'm as keen as mustard about Allene's homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. She brought it yesterday, and there was one piece left over, so I've just had it for breakfast. A little slice of heaven.
What? Put your eyebrows down. Pie is a perfectly appropriate breakfast food. Eggs, citrus, butter, and graham crackers, along with probably less sugar than is in most cereals: what could be better?
Finally, I'm as keen as mustard to finish this manuscript, so I'll sign off for now. Enjoy your day!