Let me tell you about the radish. . . .One of my favorite garden vegetables is the radish. This is not so much about the crisp, spicy taste, but more about the memories the little red globes conjure. One of my earliest memories is working in the garden with my dad. As a very young boy, I remember the wonder of pulling a bright red radish from the ground. My dad displayed his big smile and told me to brush the dirt off, spit on it, and shine it up on my pants. Then he told me to eat it. I did just that and I was simply delighted! The strong flavor surprised me; it raced right past my inexperienced taste buds, shot straight up through my nostrils and into my forehead.
I thought, how could anything possibly be better than pulling something out of the ground and eating it?
Now, fifty-some years later, I cannot eat a radish without at least a flash of that pleasant boyhood memory returning. Even store-bought radishes will do it. It is a very palpable connection to a joyful moment in my youth. These spicy little red balls are generally the first edible produce from the home garden. Now here we are in September, nearing the end of the growing season and I see a bundle of red radishes on the shelf at the grocery store. Even though it is somewhat out of season and displayed in a sterile market setting, the delight of seeing the radish still comforts me in some strange sort of way.