My Mom is a Master Gardener. She seems to have learned a lot about different plants including fruits and veggies. While we were visiting my family a few weeks ago, I got the chance to learn a little bit about parsnips. Parsnips are white colored and look like a carrot. They feel like a carrot. They are from the same family as a carrot. Parsnips are not rare. Lots of people have heard of parsnips, although much fewer have cooked them or tried them. I stumbled upon a recipe in a parenting magazine that called for parsnips. I decided to put it on the menu for Thanksgiving this year.
Monday afternoon: Erin wakes from her nap and we seize the opportunity to hit the grocery store for our Thanksgiving ingredients. On that list: parsnips. I was surprised to see a full parking lot when we arrived. It was only Monday, but apparently many people take that day off to grocery shop for Thursday. My game plan changed: get the items you know their location to and get out. A toddler, does NOT save you money while shopping. I would come back later that night for the rest.
First stop, produce: couldn’t find the pre-cut butternut squash (lazy I know), oh well, I’ll be back. Scallions, apple’s, and russet potatoes were all quickly placed in the cart and checked over by the kid. Oh, how could I forget asparagus….I do need to cook dinner that night too. Next up before leaving produce: parsnips. I see parsnips in the corner just above the carrots. But I stop because they look like white carrots, I don’t see anything else that looks similar, but I’m crunched for time and there is a produce guy right next to me. “Excuse me, sir. Where are your parsnips?” His finger points me to what I was looking at just a second ago. I grab 4, put them in a bag and move on. At check out, I am greeted by a young looking kid. Probably early college or high school. The parsnips glide towards him on the belt. The 30 items before him seemed like a breeze. He had all his produce numbers memorized. As he takes the parsnips and places them on the belt, he gives me an odd look as if he had no idea what they were. I told him “parsnips.” The older checker walks past and yells out the code to him. Ah, she knows parsnips!
The parsnips safely made their way home, and are lovingly placed in our crisper (really, I don’t know why this drawer exists. It doesn’t make it any more crisp, nor does it keep it crisp…hey we rent).
Thursday, noon: I pull out the parsnips to prepare for my parsnip potato pancake recipe. I get a wiff of them as I open the bag….they smell like carrots. I wash them and take a bite: it IS INDEED a CARROT! So not happy with our grocery store!
So, thanks to Waldbaums, we ate white carrot and potato pancakes today. For that, I’m sort of thankful. Lesson learned: don’t trust your grocery stores produce dudes and always smell your veggies before purchasing.