filling the empty nest with food
American poet T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruellest month.” That is certainly true in Minnesota, and if Eliot had lived here, his line from The Waste Land (in which April is a stand-in for spring), would likely have read: April is the cruellest month, preceded by March, followed by May, and then sometimes June is also pitiless….and don’t get me started on January!
Spring is a tease in Minnesota. Long winters leave us longing desperately for sun and warmth, yet we can never reliably count on either until well into June. Minnesotans consider our true summer as starting on the 4th of July and ending at Labor Day–barely two months long. Well, most of the time it’s that long.
And this spring has been especially withholding. I can count on one hand this year’s truly lovely, lilac-scented spring days–and still have a couple of fingers left over. So, it was a joy to thin the radishes in my garden this week, and find tiny reddish-white baby ones big enough to eat.
I grew up eating radishes dipped in salt and loved them that way, but I love them even more the way the French eat radishes. I find the French to be true omnivores. Not only do they eat everything, but they find a way to prepare whatever they eat in a fine-cuisine manner. Radishes are delicious with salt, but try them sliced and spread with butter then sprinkled with a little salt. Your cardiologist surely won’t approve, but go ahead anyway, and then respond with a classic Gallic shrug.