Last Wednesday on my way out of work I passed a man with a few bags of CSA loot and a giant vegetable tucked under his arm. It was a majestic sight. I blurted out as I passed, "is that a daikon?"
"I guess, yeah," he said, drawing it out and handing it to me. "I don't know what to do with it--you take it." And with that I was the proud new owner of a marvelous daikon radish. He headed to his car and I, chuckling, headed up Jay street to the F train. He pulled up beside me in his car and called out the window, "what will you make?"
"Slaw? Refrigerator pickles?" I shrugged, smiling.
"Well, let me know...somehow..." and then he was off. And I was off, on my daikon adventures that led me to Back Forty where C and I were the recipients of magical treatment including comped pork jowl nuggets and glasses of wine. People on the street stopped to gawk and then ask questions. My cab driver was mesmerized by it.
I tweeted: "Am thinking I should bring a giant daikon radish with me everywhere. It really starts conversations."
Once home I turned it into Asian refrigerator pickles (per a recipe from Sherri Vinton's new book "Put em Up!"), and today brought one of the jars to the CSA pickup with a note for the guy that read "Did you give your daikon to a young woman last week?"
I got a high from the street conversation that led to my funny radish adventure. It made me think about how closed i can be, especially on the streets of NYC, but other places as well. I realized that there are ways in which I have lived my life closed like a fist, protecting something in its palm.