Garden Tales: The Parsnip
Some say that a cook is only as good as the tools the cook uses. This saying may be on my mind as we just went out and bought new pots and pans and are getting a new slow cooker soon. But I do not think that is actually the case. I'm more inclined to believe that what I see as a real barrier to cooking is the mystery we shroud the process in.
I disagree with the saying. I say a cook is only as good as the care the cook places in the cooking. If you enjoy the process you will enjoy the result.
I do now and then test this belief by preparing a meal using at least one ingredient that I do not like.
This time around it is the parsnip. I have never been fond of parsnips, well that is actually too gentle. I simply do not like them.
My mother did as did both my grandmothers and while I have tried them in a root pie I still am not a fan. I have also tried parsnips in stir fires and vegetable pies. The fewer the parsnips the better I enjoyed the dish.
However, I will be trying them again soon and in a stew, but with 3 ounces of tomato juice added and some hot sauce.
My mother also loved squash but that is a tale for another day.
Why parsnips well, they are inexpensive, fairly versatile, keep well and I am told they are good for me. So what's, not to like?
The parsnip is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced into North America during the 17th century. It was frequently treated as an exotic dish and in some circles in very high demand.
Well this would seem like another good reason to try and make amends with parsnips they have a lengthy pedigree.
I guess for those who love parsnips it is as difficult for them to understand my aversion as it is for me to understand people who do not like Brussels sprouts which is the world's greatest vegetable.
I love them plain, with butter, and with tomato sauce.
Perhaps it is the tomato sauce that will make parsnips tasty to me.
I do not think that people should be made to eat any food that they do not like but at the same time I do feel that it is very important to introduce people to as wide range of foods as possible.
There is so much goodness and fun out there waiting to be discovered that a diverse approach is essential if you want to explore the possibilities. After all if no one is forcing you to eat the whole thing why not take a taste, after all you may just find out that you actually do like it, whatever, that it is.
On the other hand when a food is as useful and available as
parsnips are, it just seems wrong not to do all that I can to find a way to
prepare them so that I will enjoy or at least be able to eat them.