Friday, January 2, 2009

hot, Hot, HOT!

I mentioned yesterday that we dug up a little horseradish on one of our recent warm weather days. I have dug (have dug? Is that proper grammar?) horseradish before - this time I actually made something out of it!

Have you ever wanted to make your own horseradish? Well, hold onto your sinuses, and I'll show you how!

This is a dormant horseradish top..all brown and withered.
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When you dig below, you find this brown woody root.
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I dug three of them.
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This is how they look once they're washed.
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And this is how they look all peeled. Woody. Already, they smell pretty good!
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Because these stems are pretty big and thick, I sliced them into thin slices. Then I put those slices in the blender with some white vinegar. I used the 'food chop' button first to break them up, then puree'd them completely.
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On the advice of my Aunt Laura, the official horseradish makin' pro in our family, I took the blender top outside to open it. She said the fumes would be really strong.

She wasn't kidding! I thought the siding would peel off the house! Anyway, I poured the horseradish/vinegar into a strainer, and collected the vinegar in the big measuring bowl. This is only half the horseradish, so I'm going to re-use the vinegar for the second batch. (I had to add a little more vinegar too, but that's cool.)
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I drained the second batch as well, to separate the vinegar from the horseradish. Then, I added a spoonful of sugar, so it would be hotter. Note: We didn't need any help from any sugar in the 'hot' department.
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Then I added the sweetened vinegar back to the horseradish, and then put it in jars.
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That is a LOT of horseradish. I wonder how long it will keep? I wonder if any of my neighbors want some?
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I learned a couple of things from this experience. One - making prepared horseradish is easy, especially with a blender. Two - if you put your nose to the jar and take a big whiff, your entire life will pass before your eyes and your sinuses will temporarily leave your body. But then, the hot goes away, and you're ready for more ;)

We'll be learning lots of ways to use horseradish, I'm sure. I made some cocktail sauce with it this morning. I love to mix a spoonful into tuna salad for 'kick'. One of my favorites is a dip made from light sour cream, prepared horseradish, a pinch of salt and paprika. Just mix it all up and let it mellow a bit (it will mellow - promise!) It's a great dip for pretzels. Horseradish is really good with beef, too. How do you use it?

2 comments:

Mary said...

Holy cow, that's amazing. I read your blog all the time but never comment. (I honestly don't even remember how I got here... moneysavingmom probably...) I had NO idea that's how horseradish was "made". I want some root, now. I wonder where I can find some around here.

Keep up the good work, I love reading about other people's day to day life! I guess I'm just a voyeur.

tenthingsfarm said...

Mary, how sweet of you to reply - thanks!

I think you can buy horseradish at the the store - ask a produce person.

We planted a few spindly little roots we ordered from a seed catalog several years ago, and now we have a big patch. We live at high altitude where it's dry, so ours has grown more slowly than it would in a place with more water and more fertile soil. If you plant a little, you'll probably have more than you need forever! :)

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