Playing with Food: Radish Mice

 

When around 4-years-old, my child heard the Marvin Gaye song “Everybody Plays the Fool” only my sweet young one sang:

“Everybody plays with food sometimes
There’s no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I ain’t lying
Everybody plays with food.”

It brought a smile to my face then and still does. The catchy version has become a family classic we continue to sing every once in while to this day.

Radish Mice

You may want to try singing it today if you decide to make a little radish mouse. These look great on a cheese plate or around a crudite platter. And, they are easy to make.

Start with a radish that has the root attached. The root is the mouse’s tail.

Trim the mouse’s under belly with a paring knife so it is steady and reserve the cut off slice. This can often be used as ears.  With the mouse I made, the piece was too large to be ears so I cut into another radish for two ear slices.

With the paring knife, make two deep slits into the mouse head where the ears will go. Slide the ears in. They should stay in place.

Use cloves or peppercorns for the eyes. It is easiest to use a toothpick to make a hole before trying to push the eyes in place.

That’s it. You did it. Like the song almost says,

Everybody plays with food sometimes.

The Last Day of Summer

Carla Smith, a Cornell University student and Saratoga Springs resident who will be volunteering in the garden. Say “Hello” when you see her.

I was in the garden this morning, pulling radishes and meeting with Carla Smith who is interested in volunteering and willing to help with fall cleanup of the plots. If you would like assistance, let us know and we will put you in touch with Carla.

She is a Cornell student who is majoring in communications and taking horticulture classes. And while she can’t be here every weekend, when she is in town she would like to give the community garden and its gardeners a hand. Thank you, Carla.

I gave her the tour and sent her home with a bag of radishes. It’s amazing how fast the radishes grew! It is 31 days since I planted them. The harvest is such that I will have to find some recipes for tasty dishes. Do you know there is such a thing as Radish Greens soup? I will keep you posted on what I make.

Icicle radishes harvested this morning from the Saratoga Springs Community Garden.

The garden was a great place to spend the last morning of summer and reflect on what a great season it was.

Of course, I am thinking ahead to next season and have started a seed list in my mind. There will be time this winter to read seed catalogs and make selections for the most delicious, disease resistant and healthy seeds.

And there will be more garden days to come this season…I still have kale and beets to harvest.

 

Fall Planting

It’s not too late to get another crop in.

Today I will be planting kale, radishes and beets in the plot where I removed the sunflowers.  The key is to choose what you plant carefully.

Look at the seed package for the number of days to harvest. According to Cornell University’s website, our first frost will occur between September 30 and October 10th.

That means there are (optimistically) 50 days to frost. The radishes only need 28 days. They are a safe bet.

Another way to play it safe is to grow a crop that likes the frost such as kale.

I selected the Italian Heirloom Kale ‘Lacinato.’ It has blue-green leaves and should look as good in the garden as it tastes in the kitchen. The seed comes from Renee’s Garden seeds and the package reads “Lacinato has a fine, sweet, full flavor, never strong or overbearing.”

The package also states: ” Frost actually enhances kale leaves’ color, flavor and sweetness.”

I typically add kale to soups or serve it sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions.  Another reason this is a good choice is you can pick kale leaves from the time they are small until they mature.

The variety of radishes I will be planting are named  ‘White Icicle’ though it will be harvested by the time any real icicles arrive.

And I plan to add a row of beets. This crop choice cuts it a little close. It is true that beets like the cool weather but the roots are at their most delicious after growing about 45 days and reaching a diameter of at least an inch and a half to two inches.

The good news is the entire beet plant is edible and beet greens can be harvested when they are about four inches tall. If the weather cooperates, there will be tender beet roots. If it doesn’t, we will have beet greens, which are delicious sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

As you can tell I hope to make use of every last day of our growing season. How about you? How’s your garden growing?