Annual Fall Horseradish Project
Here is a photo journal of my annual fall horseradish project for your enjoyment. The project occurred on Friday November 02. The pictures are a bit dark as it was a cold cloudy November day - the classic horseradish day.
Freshly dug horseradish roots with crowns:
Topped roots soaking in cold water prior to peeling:
Peeled roots soaking in clean water prior to chopping:
Chopped roots ready for grinding:
Equipment setup ready for grinding of root chunks:
Grinding of root chunks in progress:
Grinding of root chunks completed:
The finishing process which consists of mixing sugar, salt, and vinegar with the horseradish and processing the mix down to a finer texture. The container at bottom holds the final product.
The final product which consists of three quart jars of freshly ground horseradish (YAY!):
This yield was from only a quarter of my horseradish bed. I traded the other three quarters to a group of hunter friends in exchange for fresh venison summer sausage, assuming a successful hunt. They are going to process their horseradish during the off-hours at the hunting cabin. Way more horseradish than I would ever need or use anyway, so it was a good trade.
The project took approximately eight hours total, from digging roots to bottling.
This entire project is always done outside. Processing this much horseradish is just too noxious to do indoors, and it would overwhelm anyone foolish enough to attempt doing this in the house. We know - we tried it ONCE a long time ago. It seems that everyone has to make this mistake once in order to see how bad it truly is. Believe me this mistake is never made twice by anyone.
Good stuff. It can be used just as it is as a garnish, or it can be used as a base for other recipes like creamed horseradish. It goes great with prime rib or pork tenderloin. I like it for breakfast with ham and eggs. I also love it mixed with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce or mixed with ketchup for the classic cocktail sauce. I also mix it in with some of my homemade hot sauces for an added punch. So many delightful ways to use it.
All that is left to do is to replant the crowns and the rejected root pieces back in the bed and water them. This will ensure a decent harvest for next year.
Dad taught me how to do this project when I was a kid. I took over back in the 1990s. This family tradition has been kept alive for almost fifty years now. This is the first year that he is no longer around to reminisce about his horseradish experiences, and I really missed that.
We give most of the horseradish away as early Christmas gifts to family and friends who we know enjoy it and appreciate the effort that goes into making it.
Have a good one, folks.