Root Vegetables: A Love Ditty


The world over, human and more-than-human beings, survive winters and famines (mostly, mostly) thank to the ability of tubers to store sunshine in the form of carbohydrates -- delicious varieties of sunshine! -- underground. In the dark cold soil. Then, harvested and stored in the cold cellar or the ice house or in the fridge or in sand in barrels or under a tarp under leaves at the back of the property, like Norm does, with Jerusalem Artichokes. 

(An etymological aside: we Anglos call them "Jerusalem Artichokes" but they are not, you know, from Jerusalem. They are "chokes"... sometimes called "sunchokes".... related to sunflowers and thistles and artichokes, if you look at their 2-leaf pattern and then the stem-flower-seed-husk shape. What happened in the "naming" of this tuber amuses me. Someone must have been loading them from, you know, Calais, onto a British boat, for sailor's grub.  The British asked: "What, prithee, are these knobby weird heavy things?"... The Frenchmen yelled, across the waves and noise: "Bien, ce sont les GGGGGGG-EEE-ROOOOHHHHH-SELL, mes amies!" Giroselle. Sunflowers. Gryo-sun. But the Brits, worried as always about what was headed their way from the Mediterranean, heard: Jerusalem... Jeeee Roooo Seelllll. Holy tubers. Tasty).

Now is the time to plant: turnips, radishes, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, celery root, parsley root. If you take the time now to put them in, chances are, your "food security" and nutrition will +++. Plus, there is always plenty to share with others. That's the real trick, right there.

We leave our parsnips in the ground, and eat them in the Spring. We had them last night, the last night of April 2023. 

Lordy, lordy, this had better be what we are served in the afterlife.

Sweet, nutty, caramelized roasted parsnips... ghostly white roots that hunkered down with such humility, never complaining about the weather, then filling our bodies and cells with last summer's warmth; warmth stored and shared as only root vegetables can. 



Theme links