Friday, January 21, 2011

Parsnip Afternoon, Garnet Evening

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I add everything but the kitchen sink into my soups and today is no exception. I've added carrots, Swiss chard, green beans, and potato. My CSA delivery included parsnips so I also added those into the soup.

I have to admit I'd heard of parsnips before, but never tasted them, until today. I must have known about them in the past because I knew what they were just looking at them. They smelled wonderful when I cut them up, earthy and sweet. How could I have overlooked eating these root vegetables in the past. Even uncooked they had a great flavor. Sorry I didn't take a photo to show you. They look like a carrot only they are a pale tan color. I'm cooking all the vegetables with canned stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and lots of spices, like marjoram, crushed bay leaves, oregano, savory, thyme, and a liberal amount of red pepper flakes.

I took a walk in the yard while the soup was cooking in the crock pot and saw this lizard sunning himself by the garden shed. I clicked my tongue against the roof of my mouth and made a clicking sound, to mimic the sound lizards make. I was able to get real close with my camera and he didn't even move.

Here's the future vegetable garden we worked on yesterday. I learned the local landfill has compost so we'll get a pickup truck load tomorrow. Glad we didn't sell all our garden tools in the yard sale we had when we moved here.

Lichen and moss growing on the trunk of the palm tree.

The blossom of a native tree, not sure what type of tree it is.

A lone nest high in the liquid amber tree.

The tall obtrusive looking antenna gives us free TV, yes it's free. The antenna was here when we moved in. We had it adjusted and we get many channels for free. We don't have cable or satellite; it's great to be able to turn the old TV on occasionally.

Oh I almost forgot to tell you, I also cut up two small beets into the soup, and it turned out a rich red color, almost garnet. Boy the Garnet Soup was so delicious this evening. Comments are welcome.


  1. You remind me that I have parsnips in my fridge waiting to be used...hmmm, think I'll put them in a soup ;)

  2. It took me a long time to get more adventurous and cook outside of recipes. I got a slow cooker from my son and his girlfriend for Christmas and I'm looking forward to when I'm back at home and can experiment as you do. Sounds yummy.

    That tree blossom in the pinks is lovely.

  3. Run little lizard! Your too close to the soup. ;)

  4. I really need to think "soup" more often. Looks good.
    Think you might regret putting the bed so close to the building. I did that and now find it difficult to get to the one side to tend. Fortunately I put a walk way between the beds.
    How wonderful to be able to get large amounts of compost.
    Love how prehistoric the Fl lizards look.

  5. very cool lizard!
    our friend in NH roasted parsnips, sweet potatoes and yukon gold potatoes all together with a nice combo of herbs... they were delicious. i never think to buy parsnips. i will have to write them down on my list (that i always forget at home!).

  6. I could use a trip to your house for hot soup and warmer climate. We're well below zero here today. The house keeps cracking, the furnace keeps running, and all I want to do is stay under the flanel sheets. That soup sounds delish!

  7. that future veggie garden is going to be so fab!! I am just starting to get mine in shape for planting! I'm really only good at lettuce. Do you guys have gopher problems? I had to build a veggie box castle keep to manage the gopher problem! What will you be planting?

  8. Our veggie garden hasn't been producing very well. The soil is from Square Foot Gardening:
    * 1/3 vermiculite
    * 1/3 peat moss
    * 1/3 compost (from as many sources as possible)
    So I asked at the local nursery and was told the soil might need more clay. I know where to find that.
    It's something you might want to check out when your compost comes tomorrow.
    Great moss/lichen pictures.

  9. Hi Kathy, thanks, someone gave me a recipe for baking them too which I will try next week, I'll post that too.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, the slow cookers are wonderful, just plug it in and let it go never sticks to the bottom as long as the liquid doesn't run out.

    Hi Jean Ann, thanks, the lizards are safe around here except for the birds that might get them.

    Hi Michele, thanks, you're the second person to tell me about roasted parsnips, I'll be trying those next week.

    Hi Mary, thanks, you should see it now that it's melded, it really does have a garnet color from the beets and it is really good. Hope it warms up a bit for you.

    Hi Linda, thanks, no gophers here except the gopher turtle which can be a problem but only from their burrowing, but they are protected. We had terrible gophers on the West coast and I put aviary wire on the bottom of all my raised vegetable bins, not chicken wire because the diameter is too big, it worked like a charm, I had to plant literally everything in aviary wire baskets I made up. that's what happens when there aren't enough predators like coyotes, rattlesnakes and owls which all predate the gopher. Cook season crops at first because the summer may be too hot to handle much. We shall see.

    Hi Lori, thanks, your 1/3 mixture didn't have any soil only ammendments, add about 2/3 clay to that and mix well and you should be good to go. We plan on getting a load of soil and the compost and mixing them together to fill the raised block sections. I recommend 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil for the perfect blend but it should be mixed well. Hopefully I can find some soil that isn't sand, clay would be better to hold up the plants and I'd have to water less.

  10. Hi Patti, thanks, I fear you may be correct in the blocks being too close to the building, you see we originally set out to make a lean to, to store stuff but when I saw how nice the blocs looked they reminded me of previous gardens and now that I am doing a little better I thought a small garden would be good, but now that I look at the photograph, you are absolutely right about the access, so now, what to do. I shall evaluate and see if it is worth moving the works, each physical labor nowadays has to be evaluated for it's inherent proficiencies and inefficiencies, mostly to do with our own physical limitations and the risks involved in pushing those limits.

  11. Hi Linda,
    I realise that I have taken parsnips for granted, in that I have had them all my life. I guess that they are really a cold climate vegetable. We always think that they taste best after they have had the first few frosts on them. It sweetens them. I love parsnips roasted (best put in after the other vegetables as they cook faster and can easily blacken). Also nice on a cold day (as comfort food) boiled and mashed up with potato. Using blocks for edging the vege garden is a great idea..., thank you for that... I have been planning to put in a vegetable garden, but have not been keen to spend huge amounts of money on timber edging for it. Blocks would cost less and would work well when planted up.

  12. Hi Peter, thanks, I used the blocks in Arkansas three high with a top cap and I loved them I didn't even mortar them in their weight just held it all together and the lizards liked sunning themselves on the warm blocks waiting for insects to wander by. sure beats bending down all the time. anything to save the back. These blocks were here so we figured we might as well use them.


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