By the time you’re reading this, I am probably at my home in Yoakum. Our plane is supposed to be getting to Austin on the morning of the 23rd, and my son-in-law will meet us there. We will go back to their home in Wimberley and the next day, my other daughter and son-in-law will pick me up and bring me back to her home. I will unwind there for a day or two; play bunco with my favorite group in Devine, and head back to my own home. I was also told that I will be going through five time zones and I might have some jet lag. This will be the longest trip I’ve ever taken and I’m just a little nervous about it.
Writing these articles ahead of time has been easier than I thought and this last one is about a vegetable that I have no experience with and that’s probably why I’ve not written about it before! My Dad, during my growing up years in San Antonio, either worked in a grocery store or was the manager of a grocery store. Many times, he would bring different vegetables home for Mother to cook. We ate various types of greens, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard and maybe even kale, years before it became popular. He also came in with rutabagas, kohlrabi and other slightly unusual vegetables. We ate them all, but it doesn’t mean we liked them!
However, the day he came home with parsnips, it was a whole new ball game. Mother cleaned them, peeled them, cut them up and was going to serve parsnips pretty much the same way she would carrots, with a little salt, pepper and butter. After, they looked like a cream colored carrot and were the same shape as a carrot. It didn’t happen. She put them on to cook and as they came to a ball, they smelled so horrible that she threw them out. We never had parsnips in our house again.
My information is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), is a root vegetable that is closely related to both carrots and parsley. They all belong to the genus (Apiaceae). Parsnips re grown as an annual, the long tuberous root has cream colored skin and flesh, they resemble a cream colored carrot. It is left in the ground to mature, and it has a sweeter flavor after the winter frosts.
The parsnip, like the carrot is native to Eurasia and has been used as a vegetable since antiquity. It was cultivated by the Romans; however, some confusion exists between parsnips and carrots in the available literature of that time.
Before can sugar arrived in Europe, it was used as a sweetener; they are higher in sugar than carrots. Parsnips are usually cooked, but they also be eaten raw. They are high in both vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. They also contain antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
The Parsnip was introduced to North America by both the French Colonists in Canada and the British in the original 13 colonies for use as a root vegetable; however, in the mid 19th century it was replaced by the potato as the main source of starch and therefore became less widely cultivated.
In some areas, they are sold at Farmer’s markets, and if you decide to try them, go for smaller rather than larger, because, like many vegetables the larger ones tend to get pithy and are not as tasty. This holds true also in squash, turnips and carrots.
The recipes I found were mostly for roasting parsnips and like many things you had to go thru all sorts of reviews and comments before getting to a recipe, then it wasn’t set up like a regular recipe. For more information, type in Parsnips and it will take you to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and you can see if you would be interested.
The current issue of (Every Day with Rachael Ray) has a recipe for parsnip chips. The parsnips are peeled with a potato peeler, sliced length-wise into ribbons with the potato peeler and then deep-fried. They are then drained, sprinkled with a little sauce and are served dipped into mayonnaise that has been spiked with a couple of teaspoons of siracha sauce.
Now, with school being in session for over a month, maybe you’re looking for some after school snacks and since I couldn’t give you any recipes for parsnips, I found these for you.
One year while I baking Christmas cookies, I got in a hurry and did not want to take the time to press the peanut butter cookies flat with a fork. Since the dough was slightly soft, I decided to add some oatmeal to the recipe. It made a beautiful drop cookie. Boy, was I proud, I had made up a new recipe! Wrong! The next sack of flour I opened had the following recipe for peanut butter bars in it. Guess what one of the ingredients was—you’re right it was oatmeal. They are a delicious bar cookie, and everyone in the family always enjoys them. Do not over bake, as they will become hard and dry.
Peanut Butter Squares
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter (smooth is okay too)
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
In a large bowl, thoroughly cream together the sugars, butter or margarine, egg and peanut butter. Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Pour and spread into a lightly greased or sprayed 9×13 pan. Bake at 350ºF until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on rack.
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa
In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar, peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk; adding additional milk, ½ teaspoon at a time, until of spreading consistency. Remove 1/3 cup of frosting and set aside. Stir cocoa and 1 tablespoon milk into remaining frosting. Mix well and spread on cookies. Drop reserved peanut butter frosting on top of chocolate frosting and swirl to make marbleized effect. (Can also add 1 cup chocolate chips to dough if desired).
Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 medium box corn flakes
1 cup coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring sugar and syrup to a boil and boil exactly 1½ minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla and cereal. Add coconut if used. Press into 13×9 inch pan and cool. Cut into squares.