Dad's Dilemma. He Agonized Over Harvesting and Making Fresh Horseradish, or Fish for His Beloved Trout

| 5/3/2013 8:23:37 PM

Tags: Dad as a hero, early garden, a committed parent, fresh horseradish, joys of eating horseradish, Vern R.,

VernHe was my hero, and I still miss him after all these years. When Dad started talking about fishing along with Cole crops, I knew we would be joining him on those cold days of spring to fish for trout, after the early crops got planted. Simply put, he fished and took us along.

He and Mom just planted the early garden of onions, peas, lettuce and potatoes, often referred to as Cole crops. Not exactly accurate. The word Cole crops comes from the word cruciferae  family of cabbage, broccoli, etc., which will withstand cold weather. They planted early vegetables in a cold ,wet garden, and lumped them all together. Being ten I agreed, and obeyed my parents.

However, that being said, Dad created a problem that only he could fix.

Trout season in Pennsylvania, back then, always, religiously came in the middle of April.  It became a un-designated state holiday, because everyone, and I do mean everyone, stopped the task at hand and went fishing. The season opened on a Saturday, and continued until September. Dad and his boys always got to go the first day. After that, conscience kicked in.

Although the early crops were planted, in the back of his mind, Dad knew the horseradish needed tending. Someone along the way gave him some roots which he planted in our always fertile soil, and they grew like a weeds. Every year we took out what we could find, and in mid-summer un-dug roots began to show their tops. And so it went from year to year.

Now the dilemma, whether to fish or harvest the horseradish. As he got older, Dad got smarter (ha-ha). We did both.

5/8/2013 2:36:31 AM

Vern, my Dad was the horseradish eater in the family. However, none of the other family members really picked up the taste for it. So Dad was left to the task of cleaning and preparing it to eat. I always thought it very interesting that horseradish cleaned out the sinuses but then hot peppers burned out the throat. How does it know which way to go? Plants are smarter than we give them credit. Have a great horseradish day.

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