Sunday, February 3, 2008

My roots are mingled with Horseradish.

My dad and a friend of his, Clarence Sedestrom, were partners in horseradish manufacturing, for their own purposes.

Mom and Dad owned the Briceland Bar and Restaurant back in the early sixties. Jim the Sissie’s dad Tom Newland was a partner.

Dad and Clarence raised wiener pigs in a pen behind Clarence’s house. The food scraps from The Briceland Bar restaurant, and Tom’s spoiled milk and cream from his dairy fed the pigs. The horseradish plants were raised just below the edge of the pig pen. All the pig crap was washed onto the plants and they grew like weeds!

In the fall of the year Dad and Clarence would pick and grind the horseradish roots in the restaurant kitchen, with the commercial grinder. The odor was so pungent that it would drive everybody outside onto the front porch to drink their beer. It was hard to keep the fact that Dad and Clarence were running off a batch of their mildly famous, wildly pungent horseradish. After everybody got run off from the smell, they would come drifting back through for a little jar of fresh ground horseradish.

I still remember Dad and Clarence In the kitchen grinding their horseradish. They would be crying like babies while grinning like little kids. Every now and then somebody would get brave enough to go inside and watch. It was considered to be a real test of manhood to watch for a while, even for the women.

The pigs were butchered and made into roasts, chops and sausage. Dad was also famous for his smoked sausage. My Mother was best known for her remarkable tolerance. The horseradish was used on the pork roasts. It was a real win, win, win, win, situation. The restaurant got rid of it’s garbage, the dairy got rid of it’s spoiled milk. We got to eat the pigs. Dad and Clarence got their horseradish. That is, if you can believe that garbage, rotten milk, slop, pig crap, and grinding horseradish is in any way a good thing.

Damn, what fun!

(Inside joke; I'm not sure, but I think that "Jim the Sissie" eats his bear with garlic. I'll stop calling him "Jim The Sissie" when he starts telling a few of his stories here, I KNOW he's got them, I just hope that he doesn't start telling stories on me! Just remember I've got veto power with my delete button!)

Horseradish Pork ala la-la-la.
1 (2-pound) pork rib roast or loin roast
1 tsp Fred's horseradish (or stoop to using other horseradish after getting this great recipe!)
1/2 tsp Dried marjoram, crushed
1/2 tsp Dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp Dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

1. Set oven to 350: F.
2. Wash your hands, then rub horseradish over the surface of meat, and place in small baking dish, then wash your hands again.
3. While the oven is getting hot, set aside. Or you could just leave it right there if it's not in the way!
4. Mix dry herbs. Sprinkle over roast. oh, what the hell, rub them onto the horseradish on the roast, but wash your hands before and after if you do, and don't touch your eyes.
5. Drizzle, one teaspoon of olive oil over the roast.
6. It cooks best if you go ahead and put it in the oven, uncovered. Cook about 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer registers 160: F. Let the roast stand 5 minutes (if you can). Slice to serve.
7. Serve with more horseradish, as needed. It will be if you like horseradish.


Kristabel said...

Yum! Squirrel will be so grateful to you when I make this for him - he's a huge horseradish fan. Now to find some Fred's... Thanks, Ernie.

Carol said...

I didn't know there once was a bar in Briceland.

Kym said...

Mmmm. We're having Horseradish Pork for dinner Tuesday night! I can't wait to try it.

EkoVox said...

Mmmmm, pork. No matter how you serve it. Everything else is "the other meat".

Except mutton that has been slow cooked wrapped in canvas buried below the open bar-be-cue pit. I always thought the local cattlemen and cattlewomen had incredible beef bar-be-cues until the sheep industry matched them at their own game. Damn, that's good eats.

robin shelley said...

So, after I ventured to guess that "Jimmy the Sissy" doesn't like horseradish, I got an e-mail from the guy telling me he LOVES horseradish. (Just when you think you know somebody...) He said it's good in Bloody Marys & with beef roast but said he wouldn't ruin a bear roast with it.
He also told me a little story about you & he & some beer & some wine & some pigs...
I'll stop calling him "Jimmy the Sissy" when he learns to make a post of his own!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah, he's good with E-mails.

I must have forgotten the Jim beer wine pig story.

If he'd tell us just one story about he and Andy Burgess hunting bear in the Yolla-Bollys I'd go back to calling him "Jim the Mountain Man".

Most of the stories that I heard, the bear always lost. I wonder if he has any stories where the bear got away?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ekovox, I know a lady that put horseradish sauce on her salad by mistake... then ate it! I guess it's better than admitting that you made a mistake.

The Redway Fire Department has an annual deep pit barbeque on Saturday Memorial Day weekend. Beef, pork and ALL the fixin's. You'd like it.

EkoVox said...

The Redway Fire Department has an annual deep pit barbeque on Saturday Memorial Day weekend. Beef, pork and ALL the fixin's. You'd like it.

You know I would. Deep Pit that was the word I was looking for. For some reason it escaped me.
I LOVE deep pit barbecue. You can cut it with a plastic fork.

Ernie Branscomb said...


If you like tender, AND juicy, you'll like the Redway Fire BBQ.

We wrap our beef and pork roasts in four wraps of foil, then wet burlap. We tie the bundles all up with wet gunny sacks, wire then on tight and lay it right on the charcoal, then cover and bury it. Ten hours later, it comes out with all its juice still in the package.

We serve the meat with a Texas style tomato based sauce. I am the SAUCIER, and this year I am going to offer a French style horseradish sauce, with sour cream, mayonnaise, honey, lemon, and some other secret stuff in it. The Redway fire Department thinks they have proprietary rights to all my ideas, so I patronize them. I can’t give you my whole recipe because they like to gloat about the barbeque being the only place that you can get good food.

I’ll be making a posting when the event gets closer.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes indeed, Briceland was once a real town. Back in the Tan Bark days, they had a tan bark extraction factory there. They had a hotel, grocery store, post office, blacksmith shop and stable, a restaurant, and of course several bars.

In the early sixties, there was a garage, a service station, a grocery store, post office, a plywood mill, and of course my folks bar and restaurant.

Anonymous said...

In the 70s there was a story--apocryphal I'm sure--that had Andy Burgess hanging out in the Blue Room with his cronies & he says, "Goddam hippies are killin' off all the bear!" A friend asked him what made him think that. He replied, "Well last year I got eleven & this year only three. Somebody's killin' 'em."

Ernie Branscomb said...

Frank, that's a story that I can believe, If it isn't true, it should be.

Andy sure loved to hunt bear.

I wonder if it was those damn hippies that killed our fish too?

Carol said...

Wow! I knew about the tan bark industry from one of Ray Raphael's books. Also, I read a book called, "Whatever Happened to the Hippies?", which mentioned a business run by the Bliss family that was overrun by some group, was it the truckers? or bikers? - back in the 1960's. You probably know the story, Ernie.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The event that you are thinking about happened in the late sixties, early seventies. I’ll leave the families names out for their own piece of mind. But, there was a group of very dirty people that moved into Briceland, they were called “The Truckers”, I’m not sure why they were called that.

Anyway, they were very dirty, drug addicted, and by just about anybody’s standards they were disgusting. They moved into an abandoned house in downtown Briceland. People started complaining to the property owner immediately, and he did just about everything to convince them to move out and move on. Their idea was that they were not harming anything, and that the building was abandoned when they arrived, so they should just be able to use it.

He finally got fed up and told them that he had taken out a demolition permit and he was going to burn the building the next week. They didn’t believe him, so they didn’t move. The following week he walked in the front door without knocking, walked to the back of the building, and on the way back out he poured a heavy trail of kerosene. When he got out of the front door, he turned around and lit the kerosene. The people were diving out the windows on all sides. They were very angry and tried to confront him, but they found out that he was armed. And, it looked a lot like that crowd that had gathered was also armed.

He told them that; “Last week I told you to move out and leave town, because the house was going to burn, and you didn’t believe me. Now I’m telling you while you are still alive you had better be gone before daylight.”

Nobody has seen them since. Nobody knows where they went.
There were a few other fires after that, and the most undesirable people were chased out. There were quite a few newcomers that were welcomed, but our culture just did not want “The Truckers”. And, good riddance, I hope they didn’t come your way!

Note; This story was put together from second and third hand tall tales that I’ve heard, and is in no way to be construed to be truth! And, I’m sure that there are others out there that have a better accounting of the story than I have. If so, dive in I’ll listen.

There that makes me an honest man.

EkoVox said...

That story reminds me of when the Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang tried to terrorize Weaverville. At least from the story my dad (who worked in law enforcement) told us.

Sometime in the late 60's early 70's, it seems the Gypsy Jokers were holed up in a Trinity County campground causing trouble. The deputy went to ask them to leave. Of course, they turned on him and roughed him up.

The next day, they went into Weaverville and caused more problems. Supposedly, the Trinity County Sheriff, backed by armed citizens met them in town and with shotguns and pitchforks and maybe even a few left over tongs, the citizenry ran them out of town. In those days, you could still do that.

Eel River Ernie...Have you heard this story?

EkoVox said...

Oh, Ernie....I wish your site came in Taste-O-Vision.

robin shelley said...

I haven't found any Fred's horseradish up here yet but while searching around for it on the 'net, I find that Fred also makes a horseradish mustard & a date mustard. You can order it from Taylor's Market in Sacto. If you had to, that is.

Carol said...

Thanks, Ernie, that sounds like the story that was in the book, "What ever Happened to the Hippies?. I bought the book at a local bookstore - it may have been Ferndale Books, which is now closed.

Robin - you can get Fred's Horseradish at Loleta Meats, and probably at Ferndale Meats, too.

robin shelley said...

Thanks, Carol. I knew about Loleta Meats from the blog... but do they do mail order? I don't live there.

Eric V. Kirk said...

Mmmm. That looks good!

Anonymous said...

"Whatever Happened to the Hippies" was (and is) a collection of stories derived from interviews in Star Root (a newspaper long past) done by Mary Anderson. She may still have copies available.
I'm wondering if your Clarence now and then hung out at the old feed store in G'ville? If so, when I was but a young slip of a newcomer, very interested in gardening and working various town jobs, Clarence used to tell me many a story. One winter he brought me what was probably my favorite Christmas present in a long, long while--a huge old burlap bag of pig manure, well rotted, for my rosebushes. Now, that was a well chosen gift. I was renting a house where the former owner (and you would have known her) had crammed all sorts of beautiful plants into a little plot of ground. The place is gone now, about where the shops along Melville are. But I remember the pig dirt fondly.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"What ever Happened to the Hippies" Can still be puchaced at The Redwood Times in Garberville, where Mary Anderson works. She has other history books there also.

Anon, the Clarence that you are talking about might have been Claremce French.

Kym said...

Ernie, we had the roast. Mmmmm! New favorite recipe. Everybody loved it. In fact, I just had a little snack off of leftovers (I did a 5 pound roast).

The stories about the old timers removing undesirables reminds me of a story I posted before you started reading my blog. This one's about the "hippies" removing a problem.