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My Blog

Easter Horseradish

Good morning to everyone.  Outside here in the Chicago area the sun is up and shining.  We have moved on from the snow to maybe a spring day.  They are predicting 52 degrees...we can only hope. 
Todays blog is about Easter traditions.  Since we are in the week of Easter...I started thinking about things that are traditionally done by me.  It came to me yesterday while I was driving past the fruit market.  On the outside of the store there was a large bin filled with horseradish root.  Now, coming from the Polish background that I come from...this root is a big tradition.  I can remember for years and years making horseradish from the root.  This has definitely become easier once they invented the food processors, but before then...you would have to grate it by hand.  Now, depending on the strength of the horseradish, this could be a breathtaking experience.  Not so beautiful....but actually could take your BREATH AWAY!   I would try to get the hottest root that I could find...we liked it hot!  I would make numerous jars of it...both plain and with beets for those less brave when it comes to adding horseradish on their Easter food. 
Now with my family...my husband and daughter love it on their hard boiled eggs and the Polish sausage...me, well, I love it on my ham sandwiches.  It is quite the site at the Easter table to see who is going to get the hottest taste.  Not every single spoonful has that huge, powerful kick.  So when someone starts waving the hand in front of their face and their face becomes red at a beet...we know they got a spoonful.  As much as it literally can take your breath away...we love it! 
Now one particular year...I had gotten a really strong root and it made some powerfully strong horseradish.  It was so strong that every few minutes, I had to run out of the house to catch my breath and get through all the tears flowing from my eyes.    We have a Easter morning tradition for breakfast and had a gentleman friend of our over to join us.  We were eating when we noticed him reach for the horseradish.  I warned him to be very careful and use just a tiny bit, because it was really strong.  He looked at me as though I came from another planet!  He insisted that he was used to hot!  The food from his country was very spicy and he could handle anything.  I guess he didn't think we understood hot....well, he put a large spoonful of the horseradish onto a half of an egg and popped the whole thing into his mouth and began to chew.  I wish you could have seen the colors this man turned!!  I don't know if any of you readers remember about 50 years ago, they used to have this battery operated bartender who shook a martini in the shaker, poured it and then went to drink it...and his face turned red and stem came out of his ears...well, we revisited that mechanical toy that day.  If steam could have shot out of this man's ears it would have.!  Now if that wasn't bad enough...because it was so hot...he immediately reached for some water and drank it down as we all yelled NOT to.  Drinking water will only intensify the heat....you need to take some bread.  Well, we laughed and laughed for years over that day.  He never questioned us again when we said something was really hot! 
Through the years now, the children are gone and we buy the horseradish...always hoping for the hottest there is...but after seeing that woman searching through the roots yesterday...it makes me want to go back and pick out a root and make some of my own again. 

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