During Easter time, one of the most pungent smells in the kitchen is
when Mama is making "tsvikli". I can remember walking up the stairs of
our old house and before I got to the second landing, I would know what
Mama was making by the overwhelming aroma. My uncle, who is not Ukrainian
but was a master chef in the US Army, used to pester my Mother to help
in making this dish - he, like myself, could not get enough of it. To this
day, he gets a big jar of it sent to him during Easter. Itís never enough.
This is a traditional Easter time relish served with ham and roast suckling
pig. The amount of sugar and horseradish may be varied to suit oneís taste.
as may be the vinegar. Some brave home makers prefer grating the horseradish
by hand, but even with a food processor, if the horseradish is strong enough,
you will feel itís effects in short order. I suggest grating the horseradish
immediately when you have all of the other ingredients ready. Some
prefer dicing or slicing the beets instead of grating them-the choice is
yours. Traditional Ukrainian "tsvikli" are grated.
10 medium beets
2 teaspoons of salt
½ cup freshly grated horseradish
2 cups mild vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon mixed spices
Cut off the stems 1 inch above the beets and leave the roots intact.
Wash the beets thoroughly and cook in boiling water until they are tender.
Drain and cover with cold water. Slip off the peel and cut off the stems
and roots. Grate the beets on a coarse grater and mix with the horseradish.
Combine the salt, vinegar, sugar, and spices, and bring to a boil. Strain
over the beet mixture. Mix thoroughly by hand (but wear rubber gloves!)
and pack into sterilized Mason sealer jars. Seal and store in a cool place.
Allow the relish to stand for 24 hours before using. If it makes you cry,
you will have an excellent batch of "tsvikli"!