the radish cure
I grew up reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. I credit both Mrs. MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle for making the 8-year-old me understand the importance of regular bathing, which was not my natural childhood inclination.
In the book, to cure Patsy Waters, the won’t-take-a-bath problem child, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle plants radish seeds in the dirt on Patsy’s skin–yikes. If that imagery doesn’t make you want to jump in a bath and scrub, nothing will.
Since I began growing vegetables on my own, I have come to understand why the author chose to have Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle plant radish seeds rather than carrot or lettuce seeds: radishes grow incredibly fast!
This week I picked the rest of the radishes we planted just a few weeks ago. What to do with them? In a recent New York Times article, Martha Rose Shulman shared recipes for pickling weirdo vegetables–including one for radishes. Jackpot!
Her recipe for pickled radishes is the quick pickle type–no canning necessary. You simply prepare the brine, add it to the sliced radishes, stick the container in the refrigerator, wait a few days and eat. The radishes turn a beautiful ruby color, ideal for a Memorial Day picnic–enjoy!