Saturday, August 20, 2011

Can a root vegetable end a relationship?

Yum.  Click on the photo for recipes.

Can a root vegetable end a relationship? Probably not, but it can get you some serious alone time. The reasons for this follow this little story.

Back when I was just a little lad in Buffalo, my Grandfather would call me downstairs on Saturday mornings after his trip to the public market. Grandpa would have me sit down at the kitchen table with him to look over his selection of produce, and other gross things he purchased. The guy ate everything, so it would be common to see pigs feet, rabbit, head cheese, etc. on the counter. One item he loved to snack on were radishes. Apparently I got that gene too, as I love me some radishes. At least he didn't pass down the hair loss gene.

Preparing radishes was serious business. It called for a sharp knife, vinegar, oil, pepper, and a can of Schlitz beer. We had red and white radishes, but the white were the best. With a sharp knife, Gramps would trim the stems, and then rotate the radish under the knife, creating a spiral cut, but never cutting through. When done, he would soak the radishes in vinegar and oil and pepper for the day, until they got a little soft. When ready, you could grab a radish and it would extend like a loose spring, with the marinade absorbed. A little pepper,  a Schlitz, a shot of whiskey, and a spearing of Limburger cheese and life was as good as it got back then. We would dangle those radishes over our mouths, before dropping them in, and just munch away until Grandma chased me out of the house.

Yes, he let me have some beer, and maybe a finger dip into the whiskey. Might be why I fell asleep in the driveway the one afternoon, only to wake up with ants crawling all over my body. My screams only brought on more terror, as my Grandfather nailed me with the garden hose to wash off the ants.

To this day, I will spy some radishes in the market, and much to Deb's dismay, will prepare them for a Saturday afternoon of munching. Now I assume everyone knows what radishes do to you. First off it's the radish burps, which I hear are like living next to a treatment plant, then there is the, well, let's say venting, which would be like working in the treatment plant.
The boat is a small place, and rather cozy at times. Having a radish processing plant inside the thing can  make SOME people cringe in disgust. Well, I try to schedule the radish feast at the proper time, like when Deb is not on the boat, but sometimes I just can't resist. Some people when they are stressed, eat chocolate, or ice cream, because it makes them feel good. For me it's radishes. Not only do they taste good to me, but they bring back memories of a time when I had no idea what stress was, if you don't count getting eaten by ants and receiving water torture.

Yes, today is radish day :)