Spicy sweet roasted radish and turnip relish

Radish and turnip relish

Attention! From henceforth, The Ordinary will be called The Clio Chronicles! All Clio all the time. News about Clio, pictures of Clio, songs about Clio. I’m joking, of course, but it’s amazing how quickly a little creature like this can take over your life. It’s wonderful how you can fall in love with a soft, warm, madly kissing, ludicrously cuddly little rat-tailed dog after so short an acquaintance. Last week we had a talk about whether or not to get the puppy, and there really aren’t very many rational reasons to get a dog. And yet I felt like I needed a dog, I needed this dog. And now that she’s here I can’t imagine not having her. At night we try to get her to sleep at the foot of the bed, but by morning she’s slithered up to my pillow, and she curls up there, whuffling in my ear and pressing her hot little body against me. We have dog dreams in our house again! Our Steenbeck died six months ago, and having a puppy doesn’t ease that pain. In some ways, having Clio around is completely bewildering. I don’t deal with change very well, even good change, particularly this time of year. This is a change that I very strongly advocated. I was a ridiculously bratty basket case all last week, because I wanted Clio so badly. But even this change makes me feel a little melancholy. She’s colored very differently than Steenbeck, but some of her expressions and reactions are so startlingly like Steenbeck, that I get lost in time…I all feel confused about the past in the future. It’s as though the strength of my aching loss has brought my memories alive.


She’s a funny little girl, though. She’s a bright, scampering little rascal, with smart sea grey eyes and golden grey ears. She’s sassy like this relish! We got some little asian turnips in our CSA, as well as some more radishes. I’d roasted some radishes a few weeks ago, and enjoyed them, so I thought I’d try it again, this time with sweet carrots and sweet-sharp turnips. I coated them with a sweet sauce of ginger, cayenne and brown sugar (but you could use honey.) I thought the flavors were nice together – very different, but complementary. We ate it with savory tarts and croquettes. I liked it a lot mixed simply with basmati rice.

Here’s Soul Captives by Bob Marley. I had this song stuck in my head all night. Not the whole song, just the line, “time slips away without warning.”

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Delicious Radish Relish

(Plus reddish salad greens with roasted mushroom & sharp cheddar)

Radish relish

Some phrases just get stuck in your head. When I opened my prize box from the CSA this week, and saw a lovely rosy bunch of radishes, all I could think of was “delicious radish relish.” It’s a line from a poem by Calef Brown, a wonderful poet and illustrator – he’s a very refreshing pickle in the often saccharine and derivative world of children’s books. The poem, Clementown, describes a town where everybody is greenish, and tall and leanish, and the dogs bark loudish. All of the people eat reddish food, like delicious radish relish. You can hear Daniel Pinkwater reading the poem here. Well, I set about to make some delicious radish relish (if you make this, and serve it to friends or family, you’ll be required to refer to it as “delicious” radish relish). I consulted my mennonite cookbook, for tips on pickles, chutneys and relishes. Well! They put up pounds and pounds of vegetables in pickle or relish form. We didn’t have that quantity of radishes, here at The Ordinary. We did observe that every recipe called for sugar and vinegar, so we decided definitively that if we incorporated sugar and vinegar with our radishes, we’d have a relish. We decided to add carrots for sweetness, garlic and scallions for savoriness, ginger and mustard seeds for their gentle bite, red pepper flakes for heat, and fresh basil, because it’s mother-flipping delicious in everything.

When we sat down to eat yesterday, Isaac had a little fit. He didn’t want to eat his chard and olive tart (I’ll tell you about it later!). David, who has heretofore never been a big fan or radishes, told him that he was scared to try delicious radish relish, but he’d done it anyway, and he’d found it … DELICIOUS!!

Salad with cheddar and roasted mushrooms

While I’m at it, I’ll also briefly mention a salad we ate last night, because it was easy, and also delicious. We’d gotten some lovely, thin, flavorful reddish lettuces from the farm. They looked like they might be bitter, but they were actually quite sweet. I put a giant mound of them in a bowl, tossed it lightly with balsamic and olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I grated a fair amount of sharp cheddar on top. I added some still-warm roasted mushrooms, and they melted the cheese and wilted the lettuce just the tiniest bit. I added a ton more freshly ground pepper. Easy and delicious!!

Here’s a lovely version of Clementown by what appears to be a Calef Brown tribute band called…Clementown!!
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