Sunday, 28 December 2008

Best parsnips ever

After all the waiting, this year's crop of parsnips are the best I have ever grown. Other years, I have to admit it's been disappointing to dig up pale roots that looked just like the uniform ones in the supermarket. This time, they are like something out of a fairy story - gnarled, bumpy, wild looking, with darker skins. In the darkness of their paper sack, they smell rich and sweet.

They have been great roasted and also in soup, but today, I'm going to try a new recipe where they are layered with onion, garlic, a little lemon juice and a cooking apple, all topped with Parmesan. Dinner might have to be earlier than I planned!

Must have been all that rain earlier in the year. I have watched a lot of it fall, marooned in my shed, hiding under trees that splattered fat drops onto my bare arms, or running for the cover of a bridge, or soaked to the skin sheltering in the play house of the kid's playground. 

Mostly, I didn't go outside. I watched the rain from my door, glumly waiting for it to stop, so I could go outside and pick salad or beans, but knowing in my heart that by the time it did stop raining, it would be dark. 

So, compared to other years, I have not spent a lot of time on my beloved plot this year. Luckily, it has got on and done it's growing without much help from me. And thanks to the rain, it has felt remarkable to find, growing among forests of weeds, some of the best ever crops. 

Feels great that half the parsnip crop is still in the ground, and there will be leeks ready in the next few weeks.