The Year of Daikon, Mushy Veg

February 4, 2010 at 8:35 am

Rob Gardner

This Local Family embarked on its eat local quest about five years ago.  Each year we survive the dark days a bit differently.  Early on, we got by with several shipments of winter grown veg from an area farmer.  The next year, her winter output to us was mostly celery.  Our lives have been made easier by the emergence of the Winter Markets and the such.  In the previous two winters we seemed to make much use of sprouts as a vegetable.  This season seems to be the year of daikon and the year of mushy veg.

If our fall CSA did not contain enough daikon, we picked up sticks on our sojourns to South Bend.   The current inventory says five, but I think there’s more.  I had this idea that I’d pickle some.  We have much carrots, and there are jalepenos holding on that would match.  Still, the daikon stay just there.  For what use?  I slice ‘em into thick coins and put them into the kids lunch a few times a week.  I think they eat them.  Would they rather a bag of sprouts?

The kids get lots of raw radish.  When it’s not raw its mooshed more often than not it seems these days.  I’m not sure if it’s because my wife has taken a fancy to the hand mixer or its the abundance of squash.  It seems when she thinks of dinner she thinks of a pureed dinner.  Let’s not go all Freudian here, but pureed vegetables are highly satisfying.  Obviously it’s because she combines good local veg with other good local ingredients like cream and butter.  Babies do not eat this good.   Purees make sense.  Nearly all the vegetables in our stores take to purees.  Last night it was carrots, previously it’s been squash, cauliflower and the kohlrabi recently mentioned.  It can just as easily be the rutabagas, potatoes or turnips around.  I bet my wife could make a killer daikon puree.  They make sense because they enhance the vegetables of the season.  They also make sense in this time of  lean.  In the summer, the table features big platters of salads.  In the winter, one plop of puree can be equally satisfying.  A puree makes a little a lot.

When we started, people would ask if we could do the eat local challenge.  I would say don’t ask me now, ask me after it’s been a challenge.  We have made it through five winters (well, we have not fully made it through this winter, but I foresee no problems).  Each winter we have managed a bit differently.  This year we do it with daikon and mushy veg.

NB: Besides a carrot puree last night, dinner featured 1/2 red kuri squash that was sauteed with onions for a frittata.