Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Horse's Radish

 Many years ago, we grew horseradish in our garden but took it out when it began to spread. I remember moving the plant to the north edge of the meadow where it thrived for many years. I also remember harvesting some of it there. I've not seen it since. I suppose I took too much of the root or perhaps the plant tired of competing with the weeds. In any case, it is gone.

 My cousin loves homemade horseradish so a few years ago we bought another start. What you get is a couple of tiny roots in a plastic bag; what you have to do is wait. A new start must be given three years before you begin taking the root.

 I dug the roots on the left on June 10, collecting them in this cardboard basket and bringing them to the porch to begin processing. The roots are heavy after several years and the dark, bark-like material on the outside must be removed. I just laid a newspaper down on the bench and went at it with a sharp knife.

 The pure white horseradish should be cut into small chunks, small enough to go through a blender and be reduced to a fairly fine condiment. I add some water to help the blending (the blender should actually be set to "grate"). Then, before continuing with the recipe, I pour the water off.

 You see the entire list of ingredients in the above picture: grated horseradish, salt and white vinegar. It's quite a potent mixture and one you should be careful working with. The fumes can irritate your eyes and nose. Never touch your eyes after working with horseradish!

 We bottle the finished sauce in whatever we have handy, making sure that the surface is covered with vinegar. After it's made, keep horseradish refrigerated at all times.  It keeps many months.

 Didn't Brylcreem use the slogam "a little dab'l do ya"? Well, that same motto holds for homemade horseradish. It's hot!

No comments:

Post a Comment