Weather Garden Tip: Preparing Horseradish and Clearing Your Sinuses

Peeling the horseradish roots. / Mark Torregrossa

I'm kind of sick because I actually hope for lousy, rainy weather for one weekend in April. That's the weekend my father-in-law, Jim gulczinski, and I make our horseradish. You can only dig horseradish in months with an "r" in them. So you can't dig it in May, June, July, and August. The roots taste terrible at that time. The first step is to dig the root. We wait three years to dig a root, and then it's a big one! Wash it off with the hose, and then use a peeler to get the outer skin off. It should look like a white carrot or a parsnip when you get done peeling it. Take hand pruners and cut the root into small chunks. Those chunks are then run through a meat grinder. Don't skip this step and go right to a food processor. It just doesn't work correctly. Take the ground up horseradish and put it in a blender. Now you'll make your solution, or brine, to liquify the horseradish. Combine two cups water with one cup white vinegar. Add salt and sugar to taste. We have about one to two tablespoons of salt and one to two tablespoons of sugar in our solution. Taste it, and if it's not too vinegar tasting, with a little sweet flavor, it's good. If you are diabetic you can use alternative sweeteners. Add some solution to the ground horseradish in the blender. Cover about half of the horseradish with liquid and hit the liquify button. If you want it with more liquid, keep adding. You're done! finally put it in jars and freeze it. Yes, it's that simple. When you want to use a bottle just thaw it out and make sure to refrigerate what you don't use that day. It stays good in the frig for a long time, too. We use small ball jars or even small plastic jars, like peanut butter jars. Don't put it in huge jars, unless you are horseradish addicts, like Jim and me. What does it go good on? Ham, turkey, polish sausage, burgers, roast, prime rib, eggs... Well you get the picture. You can even make your own shrimp cocktail sauce by combining the prepared horseradish and ketchup. If you have a favorite food to put horseradish on, let me know.