People garden for vegetables, herbs and fruits. Why not condiments?
This past spring I was surprised to find a horseradish plant at my local garden center. They only had one, but I grabbed it.
Horseradish is a perennial in zones 2 through 9. In fact, it’s so hearty than the underground roots can become invasive.
Since my horseradish was only planted in the spring, I was frugal in digging up just a few roots this fall. They didn’t smell of much until I processed them.
Processing horseradish in large quantities should be done outside to avoid burning of the eyes and nasal passages. It involves peeling and then grating the roots by hand or in a food processor, adding a vinegar and water mixture to preserve the horseradish. Fresh horseradish processed this way will keep for about six weeks in the refrigerator.
Since I only had a bit of horseradish, I threw caution to the wind and processed it indoors rather than hauling my Cuisinart to the back porch. I survived unscathed.
The fresh horseradish is amazingly brisk and pungent, with a much cleaner aroma than the horseradish I buy in the stores. So far I have made a sauce for crab cakes and horseradish deviled eggs—because God knows I have plenty of eggs.
The flavor is so fabulous, I’ll never be without horseradish in my garden again. I suppose that’s especially true if it turns out to be invasive.
Here it is October 24. The windows are open. I have to sleep with a fan because of the heat and humidity. I still have robust bunches of basil. I can’t EAT all the darned green peppers that are growing. And the tomatoes keep going and going and going.
Do you suppose this can possibly last through to November 1?
It has been a strange, strange fall–and not just the weather. Many changes in many strange ways. I am thankful that I have had the time, finally, to slow down, take stock, reevaluate and just attend to the home fires–and my mental health–for a while.
Speaking of home fires…
If you’re in a baking frame of mind, try this Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze.
I first read about this cake a couple of days ago on Cream Puffs in Venice. Since we had just finished our Italian Creme Cake, this was like a sign from God that I should make this fabulous chocolate cake this morning.
I also made homemade bread using the whey from my hard cheese making efforts. The Cheese Queen was right. Substituting the whey for the water makes a fabulously flavorful difference in the bread.
Of course, based on the comments to my cheese making experiments, none of you will actually HAVE any whey to be baking with since no one else seems interested in making cheese–just in eating it. I suppose I must have some sort of recessive peasant gene that makes me want to do things like make cheese, raise chickens and weave.
Oh, and did I tell you my handyman, Walter, is installing a new outdoor clothes line for me? I can hardly WAIT to do laundry tomorrow! I’ll post photos!
(Perhaps these are signs of an impending breakdown?)