For D’s birthday this year, one of his sisters-in-law gave him a cookbook from his favorite chef, Alton Brown. Because he was taught about books by the librarians at his junior-high school, the first thing he did was to open the book in the middle and spread it wide, to crack the spine (this is necessary so that the book won’t be lopsided, and should be followed by dividing each half and spreading the book wide again, and then each quarter, etc., until the book is fully “open”).
Upon opening the book, he was confronted with … The Parsnip.
It’s an amusing memory that early in our sojourn to Scotland, we were confronted with these things, and tried to eat them like carrots.
In a word, “NO.”
Steamed and buttered? To T., they tasted like licorice with salt, and as she is not a fan of licorice, she was really not a fan of this. D. found that they removed the enamel from his teeth, but otherwise thought they were reasonable. Mind you, at that time, we had a farm box from the local organic people, and we had what seemed to be a metric ton of the things. We had no idea what to do with them, and ended up turning them into cookies (“biscuits”), because, is there anything you can’t make into a good cookie? (Answer: no. Stay tuned for the lentil cookies we’re going to be making. No, seriously. It’s an Alton Brown recipe.)
We made far too many parsnip biscuits, and shared them out with our reluctant neighbors (the guys who lived on our left told us that they didn’t even like sweets, the second time we knocked on their door. They thought we were SO ODD) and the balance went to the neighborhood pharmacy, where the ladies, who were on foot for a lot of the day, were very happy indeed to take them for tea. (The cookies were worth enough good karma to get our prescriptions hand-delivered and discounted, which was a bit of a shock, but a nice one). Will we be trying parsnips again this autumn? Er… maybe if we’re really, really missing Glasgow… but we’re not sure we’ll ever miss it THAT much…
Meanwhile, the gift of a woolen plaid blanket – meant to remind us of Scotland – devolved into hilarity, as we admired the little piper on the tag, and read the name. “BUCA YÜNE Scotch Battaniye,” T sounded out, frowning. “What?” TURKÇE, my dears. The blanket is from Scotland, by way of Turkey. Apparently we’re not the only ones having recently taken long, strange trips!
Despite the number of possessions filling our home – thank God for good thrift-shoppers – we’re waiting – still – for the shipment of our possessions! Clearly, the “we’re here” bits of our brain aren’t entirely online, since the other day D. thought to walk to Grassroots (the Scottish equivalent of Whole
Paycheck Foods), which he was thinking was just around the corner. Just getting on with things and living is still cuing thoughts of Scotland for us, but we’re feeling a bit less crazed these days.
The FILTHY OVEN OF DOOM has been cleaned (Better Living Through Chemistry means a lifetime supply of Easy Off. UGH.), the strip of lawn – about three feet wide – still hasn’t been mown in the back, and there’s a persistent orange tabby we’re gently but firmly encouraging to dig and deposit elsewhere; the near daily routing of spiders (And T’s requests of, “Um, D.? Could you …?”) has given way to the hourly pings and sighs as the old house settles around new residents. We are looking forward to a number of baking and cooking experiences, and are eying the butternut from community member Judy’s garden with undisguised glee.
So, the process continues. We’ll be back to what passes as normal shortly.
-D & T