The first fall harvest! Yum.

Amazingly, we got our first veggies from the garden today and yesterday.

Our "ravishing" radishes

Matt and I went to the community garden yesterday to water it. Shortly after we got there, he headed off to go with the Night Riders. I stayed to finish and planned to head home since I was exhausted.

As I was watering, I poked around the plants for pests and realized the water stream had uncovered the top of a radish. More poking around and I discovered it was sizable. So, I pulled it up to see. Turns out it was a big ‘un!

After more poking around, I discovered four radishes ready for eating and I headed over to the bar where Night Riders meets on Sunday nights. Matt was still there with the group of other bicyclists, and I was able to show off our harvest. A person standing nearby commented on how they were quite ravishing radishes. Hehe. I was all grins, giddy with our first fall harvest as I biked home.

Radishes tucked away in my home-sewn bike purse

I chopped off the tops and roots, washing our bounty before tucking it away in the veggie drawer of our fridge. Today I plucked some of the biggest lettuce leaves from the fall vegetable garden we have growing in a massive communal wooden trough at our apartment.

Our first fall bounty

The lettuce needed to be thinned and the thinnings were delicious — crisp and tender. The radishes turned out to be a bit on the hot bitter side because they have grown up during some pretty hot summer days.

To complete the salad, I added some swiss chard from my mom’s garden, carrots and celery with a drizzle of ranch dressing. I served it with canned tomato soup spruced up with fresh basil cut chiffonade style. On the side, I had toasted cubes of homemade butter-glazed beer bread to dip in the soup.

I learned how to make beer bread from a wonderful neighbor of mine who came over and made some in my kitchen the other evening. The bread we ate was a variation of her recipe that involved melting 1/4 c. butter and pouring over the batter before baking. It was a little too buttery for my taste but worked great for croutons since I didn’t have to drizzle olive oil or butter on them before toasting in the oven. Here is my neighbor’s recipe for the original beer bread.

Gwynne’s Fabulously Easy Beer Bread
Makes one loaf

3 c. all purpose flour (or some combination of wheat and white; she suggests 2 c. wheat and 1 c. white)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. beer

Mix everything together. Add any fresh herbs you’d like, such as rosemary. Dump into a loaf pan that has been greased. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes to an hour. (You might have to experiment with your oven to figure out the exact time.)

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