Horsing around

(You’ll see why that title is appropriate in a moment…)

Every two years, Gramma and Grampa dig and process horseradish. This year, Bryan helped with the digging, and the grandparents sent some roots home with him to process on his own.

So, late one night last month, he set to it, taking photos of the task along the way. Here are the pre-processed roots, which he had soaked in the garage for a few days prior.

Then, he peeled the roots. He said he started with 36.5 oz of horseradish root.  After he cleaned and peeled it, he had 22 ounces left, or about 60 percent of the starting weight.

From Bryan: I blended the horseradish with some water (just enough to allow for blending) and a pinch of salt.  After blending, I let it sit 10 minutes (I read on the internet that the longer it sits, the hotter it gets, up to a point).  Two to three minutes was recommended for mild, about five minutes for medium, and eight minutes for hot.  Ten minutes seemed about right to me.  After that, I added some white vinegar to get the consistency right.

All in all, it’s very good and pretty hot.  Not too bad for a first attempt, anyway.  I made it without safety glasses or ventilation, but it was only two batches in the blender, so not too big or dangerous of a job.  The only cringe inducing moments were after the 10 minute period when I opened the top of the blender to peek in and add vinegar.  It’s probably best to stand back a foot or two from the top of the blender, to not breathe in the fumes directly.

By this point, the entire house smelled like horseradish, and Bryan, perhaps fueled by a combination of the pungent fumes and large quantities of bourbon, continued to snap photos using the camera’s timer function.

Thanks, Gramma and Grampa, for sharing—we will enjoy this in the months to come.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Yum! Can you share?

  2. Posted by Jack on January 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Karyl used it to make a horseradish sauce which she served with prime rib over New Years. It was great!

    Based on the last two photos if this beomes an annual event you may need a special rider on your health insurance.

  3. Posted by Gramma Great on January 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    We are very happy to pass this tradition on to the next generations! Everyone should have an opportunity to process horseradish. It makes you really appreciate the finished product!

  4. Posted by Nicky on January 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    The last few pictures are priceless, as is the description from Bryan. I confess, I write recipes a little like a lab manual, too. Enjoy your horseradish!

  5. Posted by Linda on January 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Just a reminder that we have 16 Nebraska horseradish plants growing in Minnesota soil at the cabin. I think we should plan the harvest and do a taste test! We could call it Big 10 horseradish!

  6. Posted by Rebecca on January 24, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Nicky, I hadn’t even considered that about the recipe and report–it’s spot on, though! And, Linda, I completely agree. Round one in 2012, or did you harvest this fall?

  7. Posted by jsmith425 on January 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Very cute Bryan!

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