Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bracing Ourselves

It's bitterly cold today, 23 degrees with a mean arctic wind whipping across the mountaintop. Hard to believe that we spent the entire day yesterday outside, putting up the greenhouse, prepping garlic beds, and pulling in a surprisingly large harvest for late November--several pounds of little leftover onions, leaf beets that are still going strong, and about 20 pounds of parsnips.

Back in October we brought in half our parsnips and left half in the ground, and when I dug them up yesterday they were monsters. Hopefully the cold weather has concentrated their flavor without the texture getting too fibrous. But if they've matured into that sweet, cinnamon goodness, then I don't mind cutting out a tough core one bit.

We also checked on the horseradish, and sure enough, the roots have been going crazy underground. Recently I've been on an Eastern European kick and eaten at a couple of Russian restaurants in New York and Washington, DC. Their savory infused vodkas knocked my socks off, with the horseradish infusion being my favorite. So we broke off a good-sized piece of root and I shaved it and put it in vodka this morning. In a few days we should have a bracing winter tonic. Some people swear that a shot of horseradish vodka with a spoonful of honey stirred into it will clear your sinuses and ward off an oncoming cold. A more genteel person might use this infusion for a spiced-up bloody mary. In the interest of science, I will try both and report back.


Michaela said...

I still dream of that horseradish vodka. Not sure if this is socially acceptable, but screw it. Mmm. Alcohol.

Kate said...

Around here it is not only acceptable, but encouraged. And mine turned out to be divine, if I do say so myself.