a garden special: roasted radishes & sweet potatoes

Seven years ago, my brother started the prize of our family’s back yard– our garden. It started out as a tomato garden; then it became a vegetable garden, and now, it’s a vegetable garden with some strawberry neighbors (my addition). For six of those seven years, it was almost exclusively taken care of by my faithful brother, but I joined him this year in selecting the plants and weeding out the obnoxious trespassers. It’s been fun, and today, we reaped the first of our harvest.

Radishes. I love ’em. However, I’ve only had them raw, and I recently learned that not all raw vegetables are so hot (no pun intended) (why?). In a nut shell, radishes contain goitrogens which, when eaten in large amounts, can cause iodine deficiency, and thus seriously interfere with the thyroid’s functions. Most of the potentially harmful substances seem to be released while chewing a raw crucifer (a vegetable that contains the thyroid-inhibiting materials), so, while I was plucking this intimidating harvest of radishes, I decided to roast them. It just sounds right, don’t you think?

Just to keep things interesting, though, I decided to roast the radishes with potatoes (in case the radishes turned out to be disgusting, we could always pick them out and eat the old and faithful potatoes). But, apparently, my family ran out of potatoes a while ago, and we just had sweet potatoes. So I went with it, cringing. (Sweet potatoes and radishes!? Really??)

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peanut butter

Here’s a very quick side-track because I’ve been super busy & haven’t had a whole lot of time to write about what I’ve been up to.

So what have I been up to?

Trying, failing, trying again, failing again, trying desperately again, and finally succeeding to make a healthy peanut butter. (Oh, and about a thousand other things too.)

But about the pb. I have a confession: I absolutely love pb&j’s. I really, really do. I have, in fact, been known to eat them every day for two solid weeks– and I would have been perfectly content to continue the dietary habit if it weren’t for my mother’s gentle persuasion to pursue something more nutritionally sound.

Well, as I’ve matured and noticed the unnecessary additives and bothersome anti-nutrients in the humble ingredients of my beloved sandwich, I’ve felt the need to make a healthy alternative. Having acquired such an alternative, I would be able to enjoy my childhood favorite in peace.

And so the adventure began.

After four or five trials (with some almost-hits, some definite misses, and much prayer and supplication), I finally produced a characteristically sticky, creamy, all-around splendid peanut butter.

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