Shayla's Food & Wine


Friendship and food just go together. What more satisfying time is there than preparing and eating a meal together? I just reconnected with long-unseen friends via the demon Facebook, and they were within striking distance so drove two hours and spent the night. The  original friendship with Sue is four-plus decades old, but we’d gotten on different tracks. Oh, boy, the changes! But some things did remain constant.

I remember that food and drink always played a big part in the early days. Amazingly, given that we’ve scarfed down gargantuan amounts of food on every continent in those intervening years, and drank lakes of wine, the baseline still persists.

After hugs and catch-up, we talked about all the great meals we’d had. Polish, Cuban, Indonesian, Iberian, Vietnamese, Italian, and especially French. While I peeled shrimp, Greg (major serious cook) fixed Watermelon Radish pickles.

What is a Watermelon Radish? About the size of a tennis ball, pale green, with a beautiful crimson center starbursting inside a white outer layer. It’s crunchy like a daikon, and juicy, with a slight sweet undertone and only a slight “radish bite”. And there’s less waste due to their size. The French, I’ve read, eat radishes for breakfast, with a buttered baguette. These they’d have to peel and slice.

Greg peeled the two radishes, then cut them into thin slices, then matchsticks, put them into the antique canning jar, and covered all with an apple cider vinegar-and-water mix (1-to-4), and screwed on the metal cap. Quickly, the pickling liquid turned a beautiful rosy crimson. It’ll take a week to finish the process. I can hardly wait. As I devour them, I’ll think of all the meals we’ll share in the future. The pleasures of food and friendship are so delicious.