I’m writing this post with a healthy dose of dirt under my fingernails. I just came from my garden, having discovered that my newly planted lettuce is now in the sprout stage. The chard and spinach remain elusive, but I’m hoping another few good weather days will influence them to come up as well. Today’s work included planting carrots, peas and a multitude of red and yellow onions. I was thinking about how this would be the first year I abstained from planting white onions when my next door neighbor wanders over and says hello:
“Hey friend, how ARE you this fine, fine Sunday afternoon?”
“Good, now that my onions are planted. I have reds and whites, but no yellows.”
“Hmmmmm…I have reds and yellows, but no whites.”
“So, we’re trading white and yellows, then, right?”
This Sunday afternoon banter along the retention wall between our two properties is a constitutional tenet. It’s as much a part of our female connection as the “Hi ho, neighbor!” call is between our husbands. If we’re outside in the same vicinity, we speak. Or wave. Or nod. Today we spoke. But then, came something extra.
“I just pulled up the remainder of my winter garden and have too many radishes. Would you like a few?”
My antennae rose as I thought about the possibilities. “Sure!” I replied. Then, “radishes…radishes…radishes…” My mind quickly whirled while I considered the possibilities. And then the answer came to me. In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to try Al Eschbach’s favorite food combination. I surmised that TODAY must be that experimental opportunity.
I did some quick research to find out all the nuances I could about Eschabach’s food love and discovered a few things:
- It was Munich – where he first had radishes and beer. Famous for traveling across the ocean every year since the mid-70s, Al has had plenty of opportunities to sample international cuisine. And evidently, this was a combination that stuck with him big time.
- The Lost Ogle has joked about the hours wasted while waiting in the drive-thru line at Braum’s, listening to Al Eschbach talk about radishes and beer.
- SoonerNorm quit listening to WWLS because, among other things on his list, he dislikes the “I love beer and radishes by Al Eschbach” theme.
- And, in “Sports Talk Radio in America: Its Context and Culture,” by John Mark Dempsey, Al Eschbach warrants several pages of content. Portions of that content contain “What’s your favorite…” quizzes. And of course, his favorite food was answered as: “Beer and radishes.”
So, now I’m here in my kitchen washing my neighbor’s radishes and wondering what the heck this combination will provide my taste buds. I cleaned the radishes, grabbed a frosted mug from our freezer selected a can of Coop Ale Works Horny Toad Cerveza.
Okay, I couldn’t put this off any longer. If I’m going to drink beer, I like my mug frosted and my beer really cold. Every second I hesitated was a second away from my standard. Still unable to make myself try the combination, I decided I needed to grind some pepper and make a little pile of sea salt to season the radishes.
Okay, I could do this. The salt and pepper were just what I needed. I picked up a good sized chunk of radish, dipped it into a little of the salt and pepper reserves, tossed it in my mouth and took a swig of beer.
The beer was pretty good. I crunched the radish a couple of times and swallowed everything together. Hm. Unlike a beer with salt and lime, there was no sour punch. However, the mildly bitter radish flavor wasn’t unpleasant as a complement to the beer. And, it was okay enough to try a second bite.
So I did.
My second try brought me this decision: I think I like eating the chunk of radish, THEN washing it down with beer. It’s less complicated, and works better somehow. I finished off three or four more slices to make sure I had eaten at least one radish and drank at least one-third of the beer.
The combination was still just fine. It didn’t get weird, and the longer I worked on it the easier it was for my brain to substitute what I normally like as a Mexican beer with salt and lime for the Oklahoma brew with Oklahoma radishes and seasonings.
Okay, Al. This is actually alright. In fact, if someone served this at their house I could eat and drink the combination willingly. I’m still thinking about whether or not I would SEEK OUT the food/drink combo, but I can definitely say without hesitation, “It’s good. And, I think it’s worthy of your own trial.”
And THAT, my friends, is all My Little Victory Garden has for you today. So, in the words of our famous WWLS Sportscaster Al Eschbach, “SEE YA!”