Turnips and Parsnips and Kale, Oh My!

One of the turnips for this week’s boxes, happily growing for a short while longer.

When I volunteered to run the first half of the fall CSA and farm-sit for Tony and Barclay, I was expecting to have snow and frozen livestock waterers to contend with at times. So far, not so! We’ve had a few mornings with ice on all the water buckets, but no snow except for a dusting a month ago. There’s still time, of course – maybe the mix this Friday will include some snowflakes, but only if it gets cold enough down here in Norwood. I just found out that my parents in Denver are still harvesting tomatoes from their garden. At this rate, maybe some will still be left when I return home next week! Yes, it’s true, my time here is almost at its end. Tony and Barclay will be back from warmer reaches by Monday, at which point I will be headed back home to Denver. So this is my last newsletter with all of you, as Barclay will run everything the last three weeks. It has been wonderful living in Norwood this summer, raising (and eating) great food, and serving all of you! And now, farewell until we meet again!

Make sure to return last week’s flattened box when you pick up this Friday! For Telluride pick-ups, this week there actually is a black plastic tarp for you to cover the stack of empty boxes with. (I forgot to send it along with the boxes last week, oops!) You’ll find it on the ground on the north side of the porch, or to the right of the porch as you face the house. Make sure to cover the boxes such that rain can’t get in, and use the rocks as needed to secure against wind.

If you are unable to pick up for any reason, please let me know as early as possible! If your box contains chicken and/or eggs, I will also need to know whether you want them held and added to the next week’s box. Not everyone likes extra meat and eggs when they return from a trip, so I don’t automatically assume you want them held unless you tell me.

This week’s box includes some less-common veggies like parsnips and turnips. If you’re not familiar with cooking them, roasting or sautéing is a great way to start. Our Roasted Root Vegetables recipe is perfect for this with a few substitutions. You can use parsnips instead of potatoes, skip the beets, and even use your spaghetti squash instead of the butternut squash if you like. The spaghetti squash will of course have a different texture and won’t be quite as sweet, but will still be quite yummy!

What’s in the box:

Arugula: I’ve been cooking fried eggs for breakfast recently with arugula: just grease your pan, sprinkle it with torn arugula leaves, and toss in your eggs.

Garlic: Mmm….

Kale: This week’s variety is Toscano, also called Dino kale. It’s a little more tender than many varieties, great in a salad or as a sautéed side dish. Also see recipe link under turnips.

Parsnips: These veggies look like a rather oversized white carrot. They’re perfect for stews, soups, and fried or roasted veggies. Sweeter and more flavorful than potatoes, you can use them the same way as or in place of potatoes in a wide range of dishes. Mixed 50-50 with potatoes, they also make deliciously sweet mashed potatoes!

Turnips: These oversized roots belong to the broccoli family, along with radishes and rutabagas. You’ll notice a hint of that classic mustardy flavor as you eat them. This is a larger-maturing variety, so don’t let the size intimidate you! Great roasted, shredded in salads, or in stews. The leaves are a great cooking green as well, though more strongly flavored than the roots. General tips for cooking the leaves and some recipes here.

Salad mix: Give it a quick wash, and add your favorite dressing.

Spaghetti Squash: Cook and use as the classic “spaghetti,” roast it, or fill it with sausage.

Chives: Given their mild onion flavor with a hint of garlic, you can chop these up in almost any dish, raw or cooked. According to food.com, 1 tsp chopped green onion tops = 1 tbsp chopped chives. I’ve also used them instead of onions many times.

Eggs (for egg shares)

Bread and/or Granola (for bakery shares)

Chicken (for every week chicken shares)