Thursday, January 26, 2012

Garden Goodies Galore!

These started out as a pair of mittens for a little girl who likes yellow. I ended up frogging them, as they were looking more like a pair of mittens for a big girl, who may or may not like yellow. No, I didn't do a guage swatch, but when I'm knitting something that small, I figure it doesn't take me any longer to knit part way up  the pattern than it would to do the swatch. For my non-knitting friends, frogging means to rip it out. Rip it. Get it?   Okay, well, in other news, look below at the yummy goodies we got today.

Mr.Studley & I have been very blessed by friends this week. On Sunday, a man at church brought us a big bag of turnips, as well as turnip greens.  Today, a woman from church dropped us off two huge bags of yummy goodness  from her & her husband's garden.  I, I LOVE turnips. The greens I can take or leave, but I'd just  as soon eat a bowl of stewed turnips as I would a bowl of ice-cream, and I do like ice-cream.  In case you're from some far away place that's never heard of turnips, or maybe you have, but thought they were some odd thing southerners eat, like fried okra, or fried green tomatoes, I'll tell you how to cook them. I'm sure there's more than one way, but this works for me.

How to prepare turnips:

Slice off the ends, like you would with an onion
Cut into 1-2 inch cubes
place in a 1 1/2 to 2 quart microwaveable bowl
Add just a little water, maybe a half cup or so
nuke on high for about 5 minutes, then check them by seeing if a fork easily penetrates the cube; this will take longer or less time, depending on the amount of turnips you're cooking
When done, drain the water, or at least most of it
Add a 'sprinkling' of sugar, but not too much. You don't want to sweeten them, you merely want to take away the bitter edge turnips sometimes have
Add butter/margerine, or whatever you use for that, and salt & pepper

That's it. You'll love 'em, or you'll hate 'em, but I'm betting you'll love 'em. If you want a simple meal, whip up a pan of cornbread and bake it in a cast iron skillet.  When you cook your cornbread in a cast iron skillet, put a little oil in the skillet (I use olive oil for just about everything), then put the pan in the oven while the oven is preheating. If you'll let your pan heat  for at leat 10 minutes before adding the cornbread batter, you'll get a nice, crisp bottom crust, and the entire round of cornbread will easily slide out of the pan onto a serving plate; and  assuming you have a well seasoned skillet, all the cleaning  it will need is a quick swipe with a paper towel.  Do all this, and  you've got yourself a nice little southern meal right there, I tell you what (sorry, I have Hank Hill on the brain right now).

I didn't take pictures of everything, but there were turnips, green onions, carrots, turnip greens, kale, collard greens,  cilantro, thyme, and dill, all freshly picked this morning from our friends' garden.  Heaven...I'm in Heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.....and that's all I can remember from that song. ;-)

I'm still spending lots of time at Pinterest, mostly at night before I go to bed. A neighbor's birthday was yesterday, so I made her this coffee cake, then topped it with a glaze from this recipe.  The recipe for the cake is enough to make two 8 x 8 coffee cakes.  Whatever was I supposed to do with the second cake??  I could have frozen it, I suppose....but Studley and I had much more fun eating it. Sorry, I didn't think to take  a picture, but I baked one in my one-and-only 8 x 8 pan, and the other in my 9 1/2" cast iron skillet. Just as I do when cooking cornbread, I let the skillet get sizzling hot in the oven before I poured in the cake batter. After it was out of the oven and cooled a bit, I slid a spatula around it to loosen the edges of the cake from the edge of the pan, then placed a plate over the skillet and flipped it over. Of course, this put the top of the cake facing down. I then flipped it over again onto another plate, and voila',  it stayed intact. I poured the cooked glaze over it, and once the glaze had cooled a bit,  I had a very pretty  cake for sending over to my neighbors.  I let Studley take it over, since it was raining cats & dogs at the time. He's so handy at times like that. He even volunteered to do it. All I had to do was lament, "how ever will I get that cake next door in all this rain?", followed by a big sigh. Next thing I knew, he was heading out the front door, a cake in one hand, and an umbrella in the other.  I'm a blessed woman, I am.

Among the greens we received, there was a batch of one kind that I didn't recognize. They looked similar to the turnip greens, but one side of the leaves were green, and the other sides were a sort of burgundy color.  Plus, I think they were a bit more oblong shaped than the turnip greens which were slightly more rounded.   Come to think of it, the leaves were more pointed and narrower than the turnip greens.  While some types of  kale have a purplish color, I do know these aren't kale.  Anyone have a clue what they are?  I forgot to take a picture of them, and have already cleaned them and packed them away. I'll send out two of my handknit dishcloths to the first one to comment (with a continental US address, please) who can correctly identify them for me.  In the unlikely event that two of you comment at the same time on the clock, I'll send you each two dishcloths.  You'll have to give me a day or two to get more knit in the event of their being two winners; and yes, I realize that constitutes about 98% of my readers. ;-)  Meanwhile, I'll give my friend a call this week to see what the greens are, so I'll know who got it right.

You guys have a great week, and remember, try and do something to bless someone today!

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
~Psalm 13:6 Amplified Bible
"We are born helpless....
We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually;
We need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves."
~C.S. Lewis


Wool Winder said...

I really never developed a taste for turnips. Of course, it's been a long time since I've tried them, so maybe I'd like them now. No guesses on the mysterious greens.

Magnolia Tea said...

Oh yeah, turnip greens are wonderful. What nice gifts of fresh vegetables from your friends .
My husband loves raw turnips, but I may have to branch out and cook some as they are a bit strong. I never have done that so thanks for the sugar tip. Have a great day!

Paula said...

Mmmm~ fresh veggies! And I love greens of any kind... yours sorta look like kale, or a mixture of kale and some other kind of greens.
I can make a meal on cornbread and greens... (did you catch that hint? *giggle*)

Susy said...

Hi Renna ~ love your pictures and recipe, but I don't think I'm convinced to try turnips. But I AM going to go dig out my old Uncle Wiggly book (:

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Turnips and parsnips were two of my mom's favorite vegetables and she prepared them often. Thanks for the reminder of how good turnips are for us, and thank you for visiting my blog. It's so nice to meet you.

Julie said...

lovely! that's so great to be able to share in the veggie gardens of your congregation. the photos of the leaves in the bag do indeed look like kale- particularly the ones on the left. I'm crazy about kale and eat a lot of it.