While we are ready and waiting for my husband to come home from the hospital, we are also getting ready for Easter.
This evening, I went hunting for horseradish.
After scraping away some fallen leaves, I found some new grow peaking through the ground. I used a potato fork (the only fork that didn’t grow legs and walk away over the years) to dig up a few pieces.
This bunch is growing under the power pole in the garden. I knew the area was very rocky, but wow. I had a really hard time getting that fork deep enough to get some roots out. No matter where I moved it, I was hitting rocks, just a couple of inches below the surface.
I didn’t take out much. A larger piece for our own basket, and a couple of small pieces for my mother. If she wants, she can use one and plant the other, since she has garden space where she lives.
For now, I’ve scrubbed the dirt off, and they are wrapped in damp paper towels. For our basket, I will peel some of the outer skin off the lower part, and save the top. The tradition is to use horseradish paste, mixed with beetroot, in the basket; the bitter taste of the horseradish symbolizes the pain of crucifixion Christ endured for us, while the sweetness of the beetroot symbolizes the joy of the resurrection. Growing up, though, we always used fresh horseradish root. My mother would sometimes give away pieces with sprouting tops, after the baskets were blessed, to friends to plant if they wanted.
My mother planted the horseradish in strange places. One batch is under a spruce tree, which would be just as difficult to harvest as the ones growing among rocks. I found more growing among some of her flowers outside the living room window, which has better soil conditions, but harvesting it would mean damaging the bulbs of the flowers it’s growing with.
I’m thinking of maybe using some of the raised planters that are still in decent shape, so the horseradish itself will also be contained better, and not spread too much.
Something to figure out over the next few days!
Meanwhile, I will now go and boil some eggs to make pink pickled eggs. 🙂