Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Randall Smith on November 17, 2017 at 6:59am

Horseradish is something I've never grown. Good reason why not: I have a 10 year old bottle of the stuff in my fridge! I seldom use it and I don't know why not. I love it!

Comment by Randall Smith on November 15, 2017 at 7:05am

Wonderful looking 'simmons, Daniel!

Enjoyed reading your horseradish story, Joan.

I gathered almonds yest off the ground and tree (with ladder). The ones I've cracked already look good, albeit only about half of them are viable. I'll be busy all winter with almonds and walnuts.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2017 at 2:09am

Daniel, those beautiful fruit hanging from the persimmon tree look like crown jewels. 

Horseradish is an event I remember from my childhood. My Dad's sisters and brothers and their families came to our house. We had tables set up in the garage made of saw horses and plywood table tops. We connected several hand-cranked meat grinders to the stands so they wouldn't wobble off onto the floor. Strong fans moved air from the back of the garage to the outdoors in an attempt to keep the horseradish fumes blowing outside. We had a stack of Dad's handkerchiefs at the end of tables so that people could wipe away tears with clean cloths.  

Dig up long tubers of horseradish. You can't pull them up because they break and leave large chunks in the ground. 

Everybody who had a vegetable peeler peeled off the skins. An adult with a sharp knife cut off both ends of each radish and put in a large bucket of ice-water. 

We didn't have a recipe; however, we did have cups of salt at each grinder, some water if needed and bottles of home-made apple cider vinegar. It was strong and had lots of "mother" which are strands of friendly bacteria, proteins, and enzymes that give vinegar a cloudy, cobweb-like appearance. Modern cooks use Braggs Vinegar because it has "mother" in it.

When the hand grinding started, the kids handed each grinding person horseradishes and kept them supplied with cold ones. Some of the kids with clean hands ran to fetch fresh handkerchiefs as needed to wipe away the tears of the one suffering. The men did the grinding, and the women gathered up the ground horseradish in bowls, measured it out, added salt and apple cider vinegar according to some ratio then into sterile jars sitting on another saw-horse-plywood table. They, too, needed their tears wiped away. 

The grinding completed, the jars of horseradish filled, wiped clean, and sorted into paper grocery bags, the cleaned tables turned into picnic tables. 

Out came the food, the usual picnic menu potluck. There would always be cold fried chicken, potato salad, cabbage slaws, fruit salads and mixed vegetable salads, a variety of pies, cookies, and cakes.  

Off they went, each family with a bag or two of horseradish. We kept ours in the refrigerator, opening the last jar for Christmas dinner. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2017 at 12:12am

Daniel, I cook my smelly stuff, sauerkraut, brassicas, fish, outside on the back, south, covered deck. It has an electric outlet, BBQ, Smoker, tables, and chairs making it a comfortable place, except in the bitter cold. However, it spares the house of the smells I don't like and I don't think others do either. 

Laura and Larry both smoke in the garage on the north side of the house. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 11:08pm

Kathy, I just want to make sure you don't eat horse chestnuts; they are toxic to humans and some animals. Here is some information if you need it: 

What’s the difference between horse chestnuts and sweet chestnuts?

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 11:04pm

Randy, what a beautiful photo of persimmons you have from  Xi'an! I still have not tasted a persimmon, that I know of. I look forward to the event. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 10:59pm

Daniel, I have problems with insects on brassicas, too. I haven't grown them in years, not since the kids all grew up and moved out. It wasn't worth the effort to keep the aphids and cabbage moths at bay when I was the only one eating out of the garden. I didn't do much gardening the seven years Dad lived with me until he died. 

I wonder if covering all the brassica with netting would work and keep the aphids and moths away? I would certainly encourage you to try Brussel sprouts; they are a beautiful plant and a delicious vegetable. 

My grandson-in-law reminded me how bad Brussel sprouts and cabbage smelled when cooking and that smell is what drove me away from apartment living to a single household. Someone else's brassicas cooking is beyond my ability to tolerate. When I cook them for me, I enjoy the taste that results. Of course, I throw in a handful of garlic that even enriches the smells that neighbors perhaps endured. 

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 7:55am

Daniel, black walnuts are the native species here. I have planted English, however, but it'll take a few years to mature.

You might enjoy knowing  persimmons are very popular in Xi'an, China. Here's a photo of a speciality shop along the Muslim area. Those are huge persimmons!

Comment by kathy: ky on November 12, 2017 at 12:21pm
Daniel, I remember your chestnut trees and wanted to asked, anyone really, do all chestnuts have the sharp bure cover over the nuts inside?
I was trying to pick some up at my neighbor's house. Until then I had never seen them except when the outer shell had already fallen off.
Comment by Idaho Spud on November 12, 2017 at 11:05am

Randy, what do you cover your strawberries with?  I'm too lazy to cover mine.  They don't seem to mind the temperatures getting 40 degrees below freezing.

Wish I had room for a walnut and almond tree.


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