Sunday, June 5, 2011

Radishes and Roosters

"Farming is the worst way to make a living, and the best way to raise a family." -Farmer

The sheep are content with the abundance of grass available for grazing. The new ducklings were moved yesterday from a brooder (where they were making an impressive mess) to outside where they are pretty much terrified -though I expect they'll be more enthusiastic about their new home once they discover SWIMMING. Sadly, one of the little pigs died (she had been sick) and we are nervously keeping an eye on the remaining healthy one. The seven new little rabbits are growing and I have selected the four to keep for breeding, and hopefully our pea patch bunnies bred successfully and we will have more babies like this (click here). The hens are laying well and our rooster, Taj Mahal takes his job of guarding and bossing them all around very seriously. Yesterday, I heard a pip from the incubator (like I said, he's been doing his job well) and the chicks are due to hatch out in the next few days. Farm life is always filled with ups and downs, endings and beginnings -and lots of hard work.

I spent a delightful hour or two yesterday, spinning under the lilac after several hours spent in combat with weeds that appear these days to be on some sort of plant steroid. My spinning project is progressing very slowly, so I was pleased to make some progress with it. I have been knitting a bit but my fiber activites have taken a back seat these days to other activites (like weeding and working). The past five summers I was at the Farmers Market once a week selling yarn and bags (click here) -and spinning. This is the first year I'm not there and I miss my weekly spinning time and all the wonderful people.

There are less than a half dozen things on the list of foods I don't really like. Radishes, pretzels -and arugula is at the top of the list. I think it tastes like a cross between skunk and old tires. "Wow," said a friend of mine when I described my perception of it to her. "You really don't like arugula!" I can live without ever eating any arugula but it's really a shame to not like radishes since they are the first thing to come out of our garden every spring. I grudgingly tolerate a few token slices in a salad, but I don't happily bite into a whole radish fresh from the garden like my husband does. I hate the idea of growing produce I don't like to eat, so I have been looking for radishes prepared in a way I'll enjoy. Though I liked the radish salad from the Victory Garden Cookbook I made over the weekend by tossing sliced radishes with a simple vinaigrette, no one was really terribly keen on it (and its aroma by the next day was declared downright offensive by everyone).

But a couple night ago I prepared a bunch of radishes another way I saw suggested in The Victory Garden Cookbook. I tasted them -and immediately went and pulled and prepared a second batch so the rest of the family could have some too. Seriously, THIS is what to do with radishes: Pull a sizable bunch fresh from the garden, wash, tail and top and then chop them (quartered or eighths), and saute them in a bit of slightly browned butter (this part was really by accident but I think it was a rather happy coincidence and I will continue to allow the butter to brown a bit before adding the radishes) until they are browned a bit. They shrink down in size quite a lot, and cooking them takes the sharp bite out their flavor and the result reminds me of sauteed turnips. Tonight, along with preparing a huge bowl of spinach salad for dinner, I am going to roast a rooster a la Julia Child, and saute lots of radishes in a bit of browned butter -an early summer celebration.

1 comment:

  1. I have never had a cooked radish before ~ never occured to me to try and cook one ~ odd

    I'll have to give it a try!