Thursday, December 28, 2006

Parsnip Pie, Parsnip Pudding

"Lookit, not to get parsnippity with you, but, if you're going to put something in a pie dish with cheese, onions, nutmeg, eggs and milk, why don't you just call it a pie, even a quiche and be done with it?" [I am speaking to the inventors of the venerable Midwest parsnip pudding recipe.]

"I thought we agreed to leave the pudding word to things with at least a whisper of sugar in them." They replied: "Parsnip is a unique root vegetable, in that when it is harvested correctly, all it's starch turns to sugars which results in its strong distinctive taste."

Ooops, Nevermind! So quiche, pie or pudding, it's a sweet savory dish.

But, why is Mr. Parsnip treated like the poor white trash cousin of Mr. Carrot? After all, it loves cold weather, and minds not the frost. Frost will not kill this crop, merely enhance the delicate flavor. How's that? The parsnip has many more vitamins and minerals than the carrot, and is a primo source of potassium. It may be that parsnips look suspiciously like poison hemlock and have been picked in lieu of. It may be that wild parsnips are a really bad idea, but that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I kid you not, there is in Blogspace, someone so taken with Mr. Parsip, they have written a blog dedicated to among other things, writing poetry in its honor: This person is not alone, as a reader chimed in with:

"The parsnip is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It groweth in green pastures,
it leads me beside quiet waters, "

Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for it is in my belly;
its potassium and vitamin A,
they comfort me. "

Then the comments devolved into the usual realm of nasty spammers and poor aparsnip couldn't keep up with it. I was please to see a recipe on the site for Parnip Soup that involved my hard vegetable spice combo: cumin, cardamom, coriander, ginger, turmeric and of course, garlic and onions.

So with that in mind, we balance the German stodgy egg-y parsnip pudding/quiche/pie as follows:


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