Turnips from Trogg’s Hollow
We have a great CSA, Trogg’s Hollow, down the road a piece from our house. Momma Marcy and Farmer Trogg, the owners and operators, are a friendly couple making their business in locally grown farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture shares. I met them earlier this year when they bought some chickens from me.
I drive by their field of veggies, hoop houses, and chickens every so often and it amazes me how productive their property is. Well, it has to be productive to sell so much green stuff all summer and into the late fall and winter. These days our temperatures have dropped down into the single digits, putting their green leafy crops in the hoop houses in danger. Farming is a very tenuous way of life with your crops and lively hood subject to weather every year.
Although I don’t buy a CSA share or go to farmers’ markets much (I do have a pretty big garden of my own), I don’t have a good greenhouse set up. Fresh greens and veggies are hard to come by this time of the year on our little homestead. So the week of Thanksgiving I traded some eggs from my chickens and ducks for a bag of goodies from their farm. I brought home Brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula, kale, sorrel, and turnips for our dinners. We had some nice green leafy salads and the sprouts and broccoli went in a pot of soup. Chris mentioned that they like their turnips roasted…and that sounded pretty tasty to me!
I scrubbed the little purple and white beauties, trimmed their roots and shoots, chopped them into chunks, and loaded them into a foil pouch with some sunflower oil and a sprinkle of seasoning. The fire in our wood stove was dying down to a nice bed of coals, perfect for roasting our turnips. I spread the coals around, plopped the packet on top, and waited about 15 to 20 minutes for them to cook.
Those were the best turnips I’ve ever eaten! As a kid, our preferred method of serving turnips was boiled and mashed with potatoes and a little butter. That was pretty good, but I like having several ways of preparing veggies. The roasted turnips were so sweet and delicious, with an earthy flavor and goodness that woke up my taste buds and made me vow to try harder at raising my own next year!
I also like the fact that I didn’t have to turn on our electric oven to cook that night. Being able to cook with our wood stove in the winter makes me feel much more secure in the knowledge that we can get by during storms and power outages.
Having neighbors down the road who like to barter some fresh veggies for eggs is great too! I could walk or ride a bike down to share with them if necessary. If fuel is running low and the stores are closed, we have a great little community of friends around us. And that is a great feeling these days!
Do you like turnips? What is your favorite way of cooking them?