The look of astonishment on my 3-year-old neighbor’s face when she pulled her first radish from my garden was beautiful. Her eyes grew wide as her little mouth opened and she looked at me with excitement.
“Lollipop!” she squealed, and then wondered why all the adults around her were laughing.
As a child, you couldn’t get me to eat a radish after my initial taste of the veggie that seemed to bite back. I would, however, delight in learning how to present them fashionably for my mom’s countless parties, their color and form making any dish more festive.
I suppose it wasn’t until I reached adulthood (whenever that was…30? 40? Last year?) that I would actually consider purchasing these Christmas colored bunches voluntarily. My husband claimed to love them, and so I would dutifully add them to salads occasionally, but I never really paid them much attention.
When my first-ever-garden bloomed last summer, though, and I harvested “my own” radishes, lettuce and spinach, I came to the realization that these spectacular roots are–well–spectacular! Maybe it’s because my more mature palate appreciates the juicy crunch and bite of these little decorations in my bowl, or maybe it’s because I tend to enjoy things more when I work for them.
It leaves me wondering if George Dubya Bush might have been more forgiving of broccoli had he nurtured a bunch from seed to bowl. In any case, I still wonder what my little neighbor’s face looked like when she sampled her bright “lollipop” back home!
Hooray for radishes! Let’s eat!