Stranded parsnips

Stranded parsnips, just waiting to be harvested and eaten.

Whenever talk turns to vegetable gardening (more often than you might think), I am always quick to praise the parsnip. It’s easy to grow (as long as your seeds are fresh), it’s much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store, it tastes great (particularly roasted) and you can harvest it all winter long.
Name one other vegetable that offers all that.
Parsnips are a favourite in our garden and on our table. Their taste sweetens with a frost or two and there is something so uplifting about being able to dig a vegetable out of the garden in mid-January, cook and eat it.
The strange weather – little snow, balmy stretches with rain followed by cold snaps – in southern Ontario has foiled our plans this year.
I went out yesterday afternoon to dig a few parsnips to roast with some carrots and turnips (the latter harvested from our garden in the summer and frozen) and serve alongside the garlic-crusted sirloin tip roast I had planned for dinner.
The ground, with its skim coat of snow, was as hard as cement.
I couldn’t even pull out the fork we keep to mark the rows (although David did later). A shovel just chipped away little bits of dirt.
I guess we’ll have to wait (and not too long if the weather forecasters are to be believed) for a warm spell before we can rescue our poor stranded parsnips and enjoy them for dinner.

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