Posts Tagged ‘food’

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 2

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.


No sooner had I posted about the chang­ing sea­sons in my back­yard when we finally had the first snow of the season.

My feel­ing is that if it’s going to be unbear­ably cold, it might as well snow. So I was thrilled to finally have a snow day. Even at the age of *hum­mmm*, I can still enjoy an unsched­uled snow day.

Not every­one here was happy though.

The chick­ens were quite put out and protested by spend­ing the day indoors near their panel heaters. Once in a while one of the chick­ens would mosey up to their exit win­dow to poke his or her head out before try­ing to get back in. Of course, chick­ens being chick­ens, all the other chick­ens had fol­lowed the leader up the ramp to also go and look out the win­dow. All day long there were a series of col­li­sions with one chicken try­ing des­per­ately to get back into the the warm chicken coop and all the other chick­ens try­ing to see what was so inter­est­ing outside.

Snow always man­ages to stoke my cook­ing instincts as well. I get the urge to bake breads, make cakes and bake cook­ies. I used the threat of the pos­si­ble loss of power to roast a chicken and make bis­cuits early in the day. Then I made more bread–just in case we needed sand­wiches, you see.


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Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


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