Thursday, February 24, 2011

Because my seedlings won't be up yet...

I shall instead entertain you with a couple of gratuitous food and cooking shots. Just...because.

Beets, pre-roasting. (very tasty. Just add a little oil, salt, and mace.)

Peppers, with diced pear, sauteed prior to using them in soft tacos.
Caramelized onions are in the container in background.

Spicy julienned potatoes. Trust me on this one.

A cheese plate from a recent meal out with Dad. (trust me, that pretty green mold outer skin? Don't be afraid. It was tasty!)

- Posted from my iPhone...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Soul Food...

You know it's going to be strange when I submit a blog post with a title like that.

This started when a friend on twitter, who lives in China, casually commented on a vegetable with an odd, hard to translate (i.e., cryptically idiomatic) name. The photo he enclosed of the feast he was having included a beautiful vegetable that I thought might be one of their local fresh pickles (fresh in the sense of being pickled only for a few days or weeks, rather than the truly long-term pickling processes, and/or fermented products such as kimchee, etc.). The colors reminded me of amaranth, but it was clearly a sliced root vegetable with the texture / appearance of a daikon radish, and the colors of a watermelon candy - pastel pink, a ring of white, and an edge of pale green. It certainly looked tasty, but he reported a name [ 心灵美 ]  that translated as "beautiful soul" - so you can see why it became a tantalizing msytery. Still, many favored dishes and foods have poetically unhelpful names, like "空心菜" ["hollow heart vegetable"]. She apparently suggested to him that it was a carrot. I was pretty confident it was not, and when he said it tasted more like a radish, I had hope.

I started searching around on variants of radish (not terribly helpful) and then tried adding the characters and vegetable, and eventuauly found a hilarious artist in Beijing who uses vegetables to create collages. Enjoy the image here:
[courtesy of this site: ]

The title translates to "soul kiss radish" and as you can see is a funny homage to Klimt. It's worth poking around the rest of the site to enjoy the images, it really is sweet.

From there I was able to do a little further searching and figure out that unless you use the full "心灵美萝卜" it won't appear in the vegetable category of words. I also found that in the States, (somewhere at least - no where I'd ever seen it but...) it's called Watermelon radish. By whatever name, it looks delicious and I think I'm going to have to see if I can grow some.
Enjoy the 'soul food'!