Thursday, December 11, 2008

Germination of a Dirt Apple

One of my favorite things in the whole world is a radish pulled straight from the ground, immediately cleaned with spit and the tail of my shirt, popped in my mouth and eaten right on the spot. Some of my fondest memories of growing up were of my dad introducing me to the same rituals. When my own child (at the time only 4) watched me wash a big bunch of radishes and sit down with a dish of Molden sea salt I was flabbergasted when she proclaimed "Radishes are gross!"

At first I was glad because I knew I would have them all to myself. Then I thought of the joy I had as a child eating radishes, green beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes straight out of the garden. That is when I had my epiphany and proclaimed, "These aren't radishes...These are dirt apples!" Her eyes lit up. My moment of triumph and thoughts of solitude with a bowl of radishes quickly slid away to the sounds of, "I want one! I want one! I want one!"

The same worked with beets. The little round carrots became orange potatoes. Potatoes became buried treasure and most of all the garden became a place to hang out with Daddy.

Never mind that a child thinks that potatoes are supposed to be blue, white and yellow inside with all sorts of colors on the outside. Carrots that are orange are now boring. Cucumbers should be eaten like candy bars. Best of all, fresh foods are better than frozen and the new root cellar is neatest room in the house.

Now that she is six, and she is starting to spell the vegetables, but I am just as thankful that she knows how to enjoy them.

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