Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You Will Be Eating Parsnips

Last night's snow was a no show. It rained all night then snowed for about an hour this morning. Fortunately, it hasn't been cold enough for it to stick around, if you can call never rising above 40 degrees not cold. I was happy about that since I wanted something from the roadside vegetable to take with us to Florida.

It sure doesn't look like there is much to be had at this late date from the roadside vegetable garden.

The chard is looking a bit piqued from that heavy snow. It has been known to survive the winter to return in the spring. Any warmish sunny spells in the winter can produce useable leaves. That's not what I wanted though.

The cauliflower is looking no worse for the wear. I do wonder if the caterpillars that favor it went on a final eating binge before the snow came. I have no idea what it will do over the winter. My instincts tell me it very well may survive if the conditions work out so that it is buried under a blanket of snow when it gets mega cold. Maybe it will cauliflower in the spring. Time will tell. It's not like I need that row right now.

I am far too lazy of a gardener to put it in a hoop house for protection. I don't believe in extra steps in the garden. I have enough chores to tend to, which also explains the leaves being full of holes from caterpillars.

This is what I was after, parsnips, the food of European royalty before the potato became king. Their tops are looking a little piqued after the heavy snow too, but the tops don't matter.

It's the big fleshy root we are after, a root that can self store all winter long right in the ground. It can be dug until mid-spring as long as the ground's not froze solid. This is a root crop with real potential for hard times.

I will be bringing fresh organic parsnips to Florida and baking them myself for a nice side dish for the family gathering. I don't think any of my kin have ever eaten a parsnip. It will be an interesting experiment.

They are a great lower carb replacement for potatoes. "Nutritionally, parsnips are low in calories, about 130 for a whole one 9" in length, and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. That same 9" parsnip can boast a 6.4 grams of fiber, 93.1 mcg of folic acid (that's nothing to sneeze at), 59.2 mg of calcium, and 46.4 mg of potassium, and lesser amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, vitamin C, iron, and zinc."

And they're yummy.

Life isn't all bad as we descend into the depths of winter. Besides tasty root crops we even have flowers blooming in the forest. Now is the time for the native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana to bloom.

Once the Witch Hazel is pau that's pretty much it until the snowdrops appear.


Lola said...

Glad the white stuff held off. You will have a good side dish for the gathering. Do be careful on your travels.

Siria said...

Safe travels! They will love the parsnips :))

Gail said...

I love roasted parsnips~Have a good holiday visit.