Sunday, January 2, 2011

Living Off The Land

When I was little, I spent hours playing in the woods beside our house. My siblings and I created a little kitchen in a clearing complete with table (a block of wood with a board laid across it) chairs (more blocks of wood), coffee can pots and stick utensils. I loved making "stew" in our old coffee cans using water, acorns, flower blossoms, crushed berries, and different kinds of leaves. (*Note: We did own real toys, we just preferred playing outside.)

Even though I'm no longer a child, I still play around in the kitchen and love living off the land. This past summer, my brothers planted a food plot in a field above our house so it would be a good place to hunt this fall. Among the seeds they planted were different kinds of grasses, clover and the wildlife's particular favorite: wild turnips.

The wonderful thing about turnips is they require hardly any care, and they're a winter plant which means they thrive in cold, wet conditions. So this afternoon I walked up to the food plot to pick some to eat with dinner.

It had rained earlier in the day, so they were easy to pull from the ground and already washed clean for the most part.

When I walked back through the woods, the creeks were full from the recent rains.

The turnips still had some mud on their roots so I twisted their tops off, put them in the sink, and rinsed off the rest of the dirt.

Once clean they looked like shiny purple and white easter eggs. Some of them were long and thin like carrots, others were perfectly round like your typical turnip. I've never made turnips before so this will be a fun experiment. I'm planning on sautéing them in olive oil with some light seasoning and serving them as a side dish. :)


Anonymous said...

Just curious...why didn't you eat the greens, instead of just the balls. Next time, you should try cooking the greens.

Catherine said...

I've heard that turnips greens are good. :) However, prior to harvesting these turnips it had already rained for several days and most of the greens were rotten from sitting in stagnant water. I probably could have salvaged some of them, but it wasn't really worth the effort. I'd like to try using the greens next time, though.