More Passover Prep. Or, How Not to Make Horseradish

Passover brisket

There's a brisket under all those mushrooms and onions.

The Passover Prep continues. One brisket, dozens of hard boiled eggs, 8 roasted beets, 120 turkey meatballs and a giant bowl of quinoa later, I’m here to tell about it.

Oh, I also made my own horseradish, the condiment of choice for the seder’s requisite “bitter herb.” I first did this a few years ago, but I was a bit confused this time around because when making the first batch with the white root, I didn’t experience the strong odor that practically burns the hair from your nostrils. In fact, even chopped up it barely had any flavor. I brushed it off as no big deal since batch one was to be the Mild batch.

I asked hubs to pick up another horseradish root for me, so I could make a second batch, the Hot one. This time the root came wrapped it plastic. As soon as I unwrapped it, the familiar scent wafted up to my nose. I must have had a dud of a root the last time.

And then it dawned on me that my original root was not a dud, it was

(wait for it)

parsnip. D’oh!

Batch number two is guaranteed to make old men and young boys cry when it hits their tongue. (My middle-aged husband will love it!).

I blended a small spoonful from the Hot batch into the Mild one and giving it just enough of an authentic horseradish taste. Like substituting Folgers for a fine coffee, no one would be the wiser. I mean, the consistency and color were right on and so was the smell.

But within an hour of my little taste test, my kishkes started rumbling and I had a revelation every bit as eye-opening as God speaking to Moses in the form of a burning bush: Do not serve raw parsnip to your 26 dinner guests unless you want them to be rushing for the bathroom (whose door, by the way, does not lock because we still bask in the room’s original pink 1950s splendor).

So, like the burning bush, batch one of the horseradish will not be consumed.

In addition to cooking and cleaning, I’m also putting together our Passover haggadah, the guidebook for the ritual meal. Next year, I need to check out Haggadot, a site that helps people DIY their Haggadahs (or haggadot).

Today’s agenda: finish the haggadah, cook another brisket, prep salads and make my boys work so hard to clean the house that they understand the bitterness of tyranny and can enjoy the Festival of Freedom.



5 Responses to More Passover Prep. Or, How Not to Make Horseradish
  1. Carolyn West
    April 6, 2012 | 5:09 pm

    That is hysterical. I always have to make sure I buy the horseradish root because that is totally something my husband would have done – buy parsnips. And may I say that people totally look at me funny in the market when I check out with horseradish OR parsnips. They have no idea what they are.

    • admin
      April 11, 2012 | 9:57 pm

      My husband has this crazy idea that a parsnip should be boiled into chicken soup, but I always seem to “forget” to buy that ingredient. But, yeah, not common vegetables. I think there’s a town in Illinois that is the horseradish capital of the US (world?).

  2. Michelle
    April 6, 2012 | 9:43 pm

    So really raw parsnip is not to be eaten? I had no idea, but ummmm THAT is definitely being filed away in the permanent memory banks!

    And NOW I know why I had the wee ones working so hard today. 2 loads of laundry, cleaning up toys AND vacuuming. Someone was poking my subconcious.

    • admin
      April 11, 2012 | 9:56 pm

      Well, I think that was the culprit and didn’t want to risk it with a big crowd.

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