Of Ticks and Radishes

What a strange day it was!

I found a tick burrowing into the skin of my neck. Horrid little creatures. Have you ever noticed how, after having an encounter with a tick, spider or mosquito, we imagine every little twitch and itch must be another creepy crawly thing on us? Alas.

I also got a thistle sticker in one finger and slammed another finger in the door. These three things made me think it was going to be a bad day, but I was wrong. For the sun came out, I got to work in the garden a while and picked some radishes and salad greens.

Radish tops are lovely things, pretty as the bright radish root itself. It has always felt like a waste to me to throw those tops away, so I looked around for ideas. I tried roasting them like you would kale for chips. Total disappointment. Don't bother. The flavor is good, but the texture is just..... not.

Then I saw a recipe for radish top soup. Hmmm. I changed it up a bit, using what I had on hand, and bless my britches, it was good! Be advised that if potato soup makes you fart like a steer, this will too.



Radish Top Soup

4 good sized potatoes, peeled and diced.
About 4 cups of loosely packed radish tops, trimmed of the tough middle rib.
1 leek, well washed and sliced thin.
2 ribs of celery, with the leaves, diced.
About 4 cups of good chicken stock, homemade is best. 😉
1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream.
Salt and pepper.
Two tablespoons or so of butter.
Chenin blanc to taste.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and celery and saute until translucent, while sipping some of that Chenin blanc. Add the potatoes and radish tops and saute until the tops start to soften. Sip some more. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are soft soft soft. 30-40 minutes should be ample time to finish your first glass of Chenin blanc.

Puree the cooked potatoes and radish tops in a blender or using your stick blender (my method). Return to the saucepan and bring back to a good simmer on low heat. This should only take about 5 sips. Stir in the half and half or cream, add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with a few thin slices of radish and serve with more Chenin blanc and some good bread.

Well, OK. You got me. I actually made my soup with Guinness to taste, but still......

I served this with grilled chicken drumsticks, a salad fresh from the garden and yesterday's sourdough bread. Strawberries for dessert and life is good.


Garden of Discrimination

I worked a while in my happy little garden.

Seeds are germinating, the transplanted tomatoes and peppers, etc., are settled in happily. Among these are three artichoke plants I am excited about having. I love artichokes!

I planted them in a bed of good soil, deeply dug and well drained. I formed a little well in the bed so that water will stay in the bed to soak in, instead of running off. I pulled weeds that were already showing up in there.

One of those weeds was a thistle. We have a lot of thistles around; they are a ubiquitous weed here. The irony struck me that I was battling thistles I didn't want in a bed of thistles I did want. Thistle discrimination is what that is. Right?