Monday, August 31, 2009

The Humungous Horseradish

Husband's family is of English descent, so they're partial to roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and a side of home made horseradish. I've made the Yorkshire pudding in times past, but since we've been trimming the fat from our diet, I've not made it in many years.

I have, however, become fond of fiery horseradish sauce and since the kinds offered in the grocery stores are rather bland, decided to take matters into my own hands and grow my own. This is the story of how plants go bad.

When we lived in California, the climate was moderate and the horseradish was well-behaved. Or at least it was the first two years of its existence. I had taken cuttings from the Ohio farm where my husband grew up and planted them in my vegetable garden. The old saying, "First year sleep, second year creep, third year leap" should have been my warning about what the future held in store.

The first year the cuttings remained close to the fence and I tended them lovingly. The second year they ventured out a bit farther into the garden, having gathered their bravery, along with their spreading roots. The third year, however, the rototiller did what nature couldn't. Each tiny piece of root caught by the tines of the tiller became a virtual hotbed of activity.

Horseradish sprung up everywhere. It lurked beneath the green beans. It flourished between the rows of the corn. It ran rampant through the radishes. In short, it had become a weed.

I never did get that vegetation back under control, and I suspect to this day, the descendants of that horseradish ancestor are roaming the Santa Cruz Mountains, staking a claim near the Forest of Nicene Marks.


  1. This is funny, and way too much like my thistle problem.

  2. Hysterical, Karen (I understand not for you,though).

  3. Wow .... you have the talent to write fictional suspense thrillers. When Horseradishes Go Bad could be the title of your book. Mysterious killings and disappearances of hikers and campers.

    Stephen Tremp


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~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!