Nov 10, 2008

Horseradish Harvest

What a lovely tangle of fiery roots my darling Horseradish patch gave this season. I was surprised at how large and gnarly the roots had become. It took me quite a while just to wash and separate them. Of course that was the easy part. The hard part is the peeling and processing. I have learned my lesson though....DO NOT try to enjoy the aroma of the freshly grated root...and I definitely learned that one the hard way. Once grated down, and vinegar drenched,it becomes a snow white thing of beauty. I absolutely adore it along side a dinner of Ham and Mashed Potatoes. This will always be one of my fondest memories of Autumn...a chill in the air and the smell of a smokey ham and pungent horseradish....ahhhhh it is good to be alive!

For anyone trying fresh horseradish for the first time, a few things to keep in mind.

Once it is ground you need to add 2-3 Tablespoons of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup, pack it into clean jars and store it in the refrigerator.

The time when you add the vinegar is important. Vinegar stops the enzymatic action in the ground product and stabilizes the degree of hotness. If you prefer milder horseradish, add the vinegar immediately. If you like horseradish as hot as it can be, wait 3 minutes before adding vinegar.

Horseradish that is processed loses it's potency with time, so if possible only grate what you need and store the rest of the root in a food grade plastic bag. It should keep for 4-6 weeks.

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