Night before last Chris stayed up late and watched "Good Eats" with me. I love Alton Brown (in a purely innocent way). He explains the food chemistry behind cooking. "Good Eats" is my version of continuing education :-) On Friday the show was about hiding vegetables in tasty foods that kids will eat. I admit to some curiosity although I have been known to tell my kids to eat some tator tots before they can have thirds of the brussels sprouts or broccoli (mainly because I wanted to eat more of the brussels sprouts or broccoli).
Alton introduced us to the world of parsnips. He made muffins, fries, and a pear/parsnip puree. Chris watched the entire episode with me. Upon completion he says, "Mom, let's buy some parsnips." Last week Chris wanted to choose his own vegetable while we were grocery shopping. Of course I gave permission. There was a clerk in the produce section stocking cucumbers. You should have seen him do a double take when Chris very confidently chose turnips for his vegetable. He asked if Chris liked turnips and Chris told him that he'd never tried them before but had heard they were good (God only knows who told him that).
This week I went grocery shopping by myself, but I did remember to put parsnips on the list. During the show Alton jokes about stashing them around his kitchen so that he never runs out. I thought of that as I selected eight tuberous specimens. The kids were excited to find new veggies as they helped me put away groceries. I had planned on experimenting with them Monday or Tuesday. By dinner time last night (the groceries came home at 3:30pm, we eat at 6:30) we were down to two and a half parsnips- because the kids ate them raw.
I quickly threw together a batch of muffins, substituting parsnips for fruit. The kids ate them for dessert and again this morning. Perhaps having a stash of this vegetable on hand is a good idea. They're somewhat sweet like carrots, but they also taste a bit like celery and radish- except mild. I guess what I'm saying is: They taste like parsnips and parsnips are good.
Also, beware of what your children watch on tv because they are being trained to become little consumers. I think that watching Alton exclaim over the delights of eating this vegetable made my children view them favorably before they ever even tasted a parsnip. The power of advertising is huge and we frequently take it for granted. So... long live the parsnip! It must be good, because Alton said so :-)