At first I was going to title this post, “Rutabaga, It’s Not a Turnip,” a quote from Andrea Cheesman’s The Garden Fresh Vegetable Cookbook. But it didn’t quite give the rutabaga its due. While a wonderful veggie resource, in her section on rutabagas, Andrea seemed unable to mask her lack of enthusiasm for this week’s vegetable. Thankfully, I found the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute, and it wasn’t a front for a viagra site, as I’d originally feared. (Sorry ARSI.)
The Rutabaga is related to the turnip. To my untrained eye, purple top turnips and rutabagas are identical twins. The word rutabaga hails from the swedish words for “thick root.”...more
Winter farmers’ markets aren’t all preserved or prepared foods. Here’s vegetable round 2 from the Fort Collins Winter Farmers’ Market, held on January 23rd. I am grateful for the veggie variety, but surprised by the lack of farmers growing fresh vegetables in greenhouses. Colorado is known for 300 days of sun. Farmers’ markets, like this one, prove there is a demand for fresh, local food in winter. Will we see more farmers building greenhouses in the near future?...more
Near my home is an international grocery with foods from across the world, an aisle for Mexico, an aisle each for India, China and Mexico, with half aisles for Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, western Europe, Africa, the Caribbean. It's a destination store of the best kind, a place where recent immigrants and foodies stumble over one another to stock up on ingredients otherwise difficult if not impossible to find. I love to ask a shopper whose cart is teetering with some foodstuff, knowing I'll hear a story about how much that something reminds her of home.
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who could write clever taglines when signing their name. Like on a birthday card, yearbook, or going-away poster secretly tacked up in a conference room for you to sign, before sending a co-worker on to bigger and better things.
Two phrases, written to me, stick out. First is “Stay Gold,” which my middle-school soccer teammate penned on my stuffed cat, a collective birthday gift made from material meant to write on (not an actual cat). Most people wrote things like, “have a good one” or “nice getting to know you this season.” But not Cyd. “Stay Gold” was a reference to the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” recited by teenage heartthrob C. Thomas Howell in the movie “The Outsiders.” Ralph Macchio (you know, the Karate Kid guy) played Johnny, who, moments before his character’s tragic demise, remembered the poem C. Thomas had read to him and told him to “Stay Gold.” Cyd was much cooler than I was.
The second phrase is “May your kohlrabi always be sweet,” written by Ivy Manning to me when signing a copy of her cookbook. I was struck by it because I always think it’s a trick when people tell me a vegetable I haven’t tried is sweet, and because it was a cool vegetable tagline–and hey, I write about vegetables, maybe I need a cool vegetable tagline!
That was six months ago. I still don’t have a cool vegetable tagline, but at least I’ve finally tried kohlrabi, ...more
2009 was definitely the year of the Veg & Green lifestyle. From Ellen to Oprah, Tal Ronnen to Alicia Silverstone, Gardein to Daiya, the last year of the decade was a veritable vegan, health & eco fireworks extravaganza! So I figured I'd compile my faves of the last year in case any of you missed them so that you can enjoy them well into the new decade ; ) ...more
Coleslaw and Cabbage Patch Kids were my only experience with cabbage as a kid. Except I didn’t actually eat the coleslaw (or the Cabbage Patch Kids), I just pushed it around on my plate. Unless it was on top of a barbecued pork sandwich (vinegar style, of course) from Kepleys in High Point, North Carolina, my parents’ barbecue joint of choice since it opened in the 50s. But their slaw was chopped up so fine, if there was an offensive vegetable in there, I didn’t know it. And I certainly didn’t know that it was made out of cabbage. It was some mysterious vegetable named “cole.” ...more
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