Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why do I have to find the horseradish?

I don’t even really like the stuff either,  but it’s something that Travelling Companion and certain brave members of her family like to sample at Easter.  Just Easter dinner,  not the whole weekend.  That would be just wrong.

I’m thankful that I put that “search” function up there on ze blogue, as it allows me to surf back in time and see where we were and what we were doing.  Otherwise I’d just be makin’ up sh*t.

It was two years ago that we were in Rome for Easter,  so I guess it was three years ago that T.C. asked me to see if I could find some horseradish in Vienna.  Before that I guess we had done without?  Who knows? 

The thing is,  there’s an actual German word for Horseradish (or at least the only one I knew up until that time) and that is “Meerrettich”,  or something like that. Whether that’s the right word or not,  it doesn’t matter,  since that’s not what they say in Austria. 

Go figure.

No, they use the word “Kren”.  Don’t try looking that one up.  Unless you have some sort of funky “Austrian-English” dictionary,  you’ll just have to take my word for it. 

So,  trying to find a stalk of horseradish was a bit of a challenge.  I wasn’t asking for anything they could recognise.  After about the third store,  one of the produce clerks (who apparently spoke *actual* German) knew what I was trying to say, and gave me the proper word.  Such fun.

See,  here’s the thing.  If I had asked T.C. what the word in Slovenian for Horseradish might be,  then I would have maybe had a hint.  It’s “hren” in Slovenian.   Remember how they were part of the “Austro-Hungarian Empire”?   They have been sharing words with the Austrians for a while it seems.  With a slight Slovenian twist here and there.

Anyhoodle,  that was the nastiest horseradish I had ever tried,  which is why we subsequently, quietly decided that we’d give the Horseradish program a pass last last year. 

So, to recap: 2010,  horseradish up the nose.

                    2011,  Easter in Rome.

                    2012,  passed on the Horseradish program.


But now that we’re back in the land of lame, weak-assed Horseradish,  T.C. decided she’d like to try that game once more.  She wasn’t happy with the specimen she found at Longo's on Saturday.  “Too soft”.  

So on Tuesday when I had the car, (Doctor’s appointment,  no big deal) one of my tasks was to try and find “the good stuff”.  Something like that.   Had to go to two different stores.  It turns out that the specimen that I chose met with approval.  *phew*

We haven’t tasted it yet.  The jury’s still out on that one.  If it’s already been “approved”,  then it’s no longer within my purview.  It just might taste like horse *whatever* for all I care.

Now you might think that running around and then successfully finding horseradish would be the end of my pre-Easter tasks?  Well, no.   I mean,  I did.  But I was wrong.

Today I had to grind some nuts. 





Gripping stuff!  Man, I know you’re just on the edge of your seats.  Probably best not to use “gripping” and “nuts” in the same sentence though. 

The curious thing is,  that grinder there is made in Austria.  Belongs to one of the sisters-in-law.   I think she just might have brought it over with when they landed at Pier 21.  ( ←  Interesting article there on Pier 21 by the way)

It’s well…old.   Maybe older than muggins here.  And that’s old.   Does a fabulous job though.  Sure wish we could find a newer version,  or at least find one so we don’t have to rely on borrowing this one. 

You can buy ground up walnuts and pecans,  but they’re not fine enough.  Bonus points for anyone who can guess why T.C. needs ground up nuts?   Starts with a “P”? 

If you nodded off during class,  then I’m just sorry.  No hints.  OK one hint,  go up to “last year”.  You’ll see.



So….Happy Easter everyone.


I’ll be back.  Promise.


Thanks for lookin’.




  1. I have no idea what starts with "P" that you use ground nuts for... the only thing I can think of is Pinon nuts that might be used in something like baklava or whatever that stuff is... anyway... we had a huge patch of horseradish back in Ohio... think I used it to make a shrimp sauce and it was really great in Bloody Marys. Hmmm... wish I had one of those right now. Keep us posted on that Easter dinner...

    1. Hm, I guess clicking on "last year" wasn't working. It's Potica.
      That's the Slovenian Easter Cake, and the finely ground up nuts are what's used for the filling. There's a picture and everything.

  2. Can't ya just use a food processor to grind the HR root?? Keep ur nose outa there or ya won't be able to see or smell for a week........... LOL

  3. Are you having pecan pie, by chance?

    1. Close but no cigar. You need to go back in time.

  4. Bob,

    You're a scream, turning the most mundane things into a full scale belly laugh of a post. :cD

    Glad you found that horseradish, TC is not disappointed with her faith in your many talents!

  5. I remember those grinders. My grandma and my momma many years ago used those for anything that needed to be ground up.

  6. Love my horseradish, the stronger the better, but not for everyone.

  7. THAT grinder! I have many times kicked myself in the b.. because I left it in Norway. It is never the same with a food processor.
    "Meerrettich" is the right German word.
    Maybe the English-horse lovers used the stuff to cure muscle pain of their horses after a long days ride? Who knows. Some say it comes from
    "mehr", meaning stronger. The German Meerrettich certainly is much stronger. You get tears in your eyes from eating it.
    WE love it, mixed with whipped heavy cream, to smoked salmon.

    1. The grinder. I know! And the thing is, the working part consists of a cylindrical rasp that rasps the product (in this case pecans and walnuts) resulting in something that's almost powder like. We found that putting oily nuts like that through a regular grinder was messy, since then all the oil gets squeezed out. Not ideal at all.

  8. I agree with Paul and Marti, I love the full scale unexpected belly laughs I get when reading your blog. I figure the nuts had to be fore some sort of Eastern Europe Easter baked thingy. By the way, the only! way I have a clue what we did when is by searching back through my blog. Best blog benefit, by far. Wish I had one all those years ago instead of dusty old journals with handwriting I can barely read and those stinkers don't have a "search" function at all!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.