Maror – Bitter Sweet

Baruch atah, Adonai, Elohaynu Melech haolam, asher kiddishanu b’mitzvohtav, vitzivanu, al akilat maror.
Blessed Art Thou, Lord Our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with the commandment of the eating of bitter herbs.

It’s nice to be sanctified with something as delicious as horseradish and beets. For many years when our dd was young we celebrated Passover with a full Seder with dear friends.

It brings the fondest memories, especially the Maror which is placed on the Seder plate, and it was all my husband could do to keep his mitts off it until we got to that part in the Haggadah.

So now I make it myself, with wild horseradish, and it keeps us warm from winter to spring.

Horseradish is easy to grow, if you are not lucky enough to have it growing in your irrigation ditches or can find it wild near old homesteads, you can plant a root you buy from the grocery store in your own garden. It is not native to this country and settlers would bring it with them and plant it to always have that delectable sauce to liven up any meal. The leaves are also used when making fermented pickles, if you do not have grape leaves handy, as they keep the pickles crunchy.

Do not fear you will dig up the entire plant, as even a tiny bit of root left in the ground will produce next year and those who can’t take the heat of horseradish will cuss the plant as an invasive. It is funny to serve horseradish to showoffs who can eat a the hottest habanero pepper, and watch them cry. It is a different type of heat to be sure.

Wash the roots well and peel larger roots. I do not peel the smaller roots. Place them in your food processor.

Process well, put on goggles and gas mask and take off the lid. (Just kidding. I love the smell, but guaranteed it will shock your sinuses for a while, and burn your eyes.)

Orange beets are beautiful to use if you can get them. Peel, cube and process.

But I did not have enough orange beets this time, so I add a red one.

It turns a lovely ruby red.

Add real mineral/sea salt and put in small mason jars. To turn this into a probiotic powerhouse, you can ferment it with whey. Use living whey from yogurt or kefir. I use kefir whey and pour in enough to settle down the horseradish mixture and so there is some on top of the jar. Make sure to leave at least a half inch of headroom for fermentation. Keep jars at room temperature for three days for fermentation to begin, them place in the refrigerator for many months. To make an incredibly lovely pink sauce add some fresh, raw cream before serving, or raw sour cream is even better.

It would be such a different world if the church had not adopted a solar calendar instead of the original Jewish lunar calendar. Doing this separated Passover from Easter, veiling the reality of the Messiah performing the Seder as the Last Supper, showing us the rich symbolism of what He was fulfilling, and how we are all one people, in the One who created us all.

4 thoughts on “Maror – Bitter Sweet

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