Our ground is clay (or something similar).
When it’s wet it’s slippery, thick mud that sticks to your shoes, making one’s shoe size grow from a ‘7’ to an ’11’ in about 5 steps.
When it’s dry it cracks. In summer our field has cracks deep enough and wide enough to swallow a small animal.
In the potager, after it’s tilled in the spring, if I faithfully hoe every week, I can keep the top soil workable and free of weeds.
But I can’t grow root vegetables.
I tried growing carrots a few times…. They were 3 inches wide and 2 inches long, with skinny little hair-like roots growing out of the sides and bottom like errant chin-hairs.
They were ugly.
My neighbor tells me that he has successfully grown parsnips, but to do it he dug a deep trench and filled it with sand.
Why am I telling you this now? At the end of November?
One of the women in our French conversation class gave me some parsnips.
They were a little longer than the carrots I attempted, but not nearly as long as the pretty parsnips at the markets.
I, foolishly, did not take a photo of them before cleaning and cutting….
Parsnips were not part of my childhood. I’d never actually tasted one until a few years ago when our friend in Spain put them in the Boar Stew.
Since then I’ve had them a few more times, fixed by British friends, normally either steamed or cooked in the roasting pan with a turkey or goose.
But I’ve never prepared them myself.
In my usual fashion…. It was late, I was in a hurry, they were difficult to peel (being kind of gnarly…. I tossed them with some olive oil and popped them in the oven, 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.
I was amazed!
They were incredibly sweet and delicious… crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
They reminded me of toasted marshmallows – and kind of resembled them as well.
I am now hooked on parsnips.
Mon mari is back to work.
The closets are finished – on the inside, anyway. And of course, stuff put in them to get out of the way.
And the first board of the ceiling frame has been nailed in place.
5 thoughts on “Roast Parsnips; the update”
Parsnips WERE a part of my childhood – the nightmare part. Mum often steamed them and served them with butter and a bit of nutmeg to go with festive dinners. I can still remember choking back the tears as I tried desperately to swallow (without gagging) my allotted 8th of a small stick of parsnip. It wasn’t until relatively recently that I discovered just how wonderful parsnips are.
My favourite way to prepare them is as you did (but julienned), tossed with a bit of olive oil and oven-roasted. Maintenant, j’adore les panais!
But the biggest revelation we’ve had about parsnips is that shredded (ie: grated) raw parsnip is fantastic as a garnish for mussels and shrimp cream soup. (photo here: )
Try Spiced Parsnip Soup – it’s fabulous !!
Glad ton mari is back to work on the house and you’ll soon have closets! I can’t get over how handy he is!
Terrific that the house continues to progress.
Parsnips, don’t know how long ago it was but recently, I discovered parsnips and oh my yes the sweetness was a joy. And I even roasted some recently and yes! we love them.
Better late to the party but gosh all those parsnips we missed out on.
Elizabeth, great ideas…. I’ve a convert. But I think I’ll pass on steamed LOL.
manningroad, thanks, I will!
Zoomie, yeah, he’s handy – esp. now that they’re both working right again!
Tanna, glad I’m not the only one late to the party ;-))
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