It's Blog Action Day once again. Some of you may remember I participated last year talking about water. This year's theme is food. Now I racked my brain long and hard what to write about, because essentially this is what this blog is all about, food. I write about it all the time, about growing it, foraging for it, preparing it, sometimes even eating it. So how do I get a new angle on it.
Well two current news got me on roots, both literally and figuratively. Unfortunately I appear to have mislaid my camera, so the images today have been nicked, apologies to anyone claiming copyright to these pics...
As one of the new things I have experimented with this year in the garden is a root vegetable known by it's Italian name of scorzanera. I don't normally do well with root crops so I set aside a deep pot filled with quite a rich turf in it and sowed a few plants. I didn't know what the end result would look or taste like. Well as for looks (I did have a photo on my disappeared camera...):
This is it. They are very slow growing. I sowed them back in April I think and only just now harvested them.
Once peeled I seemed to remember my Mum trying to feed me these things unsuccesfully. However that doesn't mean much, because I was the world's fussiest eater as a kid. (Incidentally this just shows you it's all in the mind, because as I grew up I became the world's unfussiest eater.) Anyway, I seemed to remember my Mum cooking them in a creamy sauce, so that's what I did, and I as I didn't have a huge amount I threw a handful of chicory leaves in with it and served the lot over some cooked potatoes. Very nice and I shall try growing some more next year.
The other root story is quite an embarrassing one, I know you will laugh out loud about this Mr. H
My blogger friend Mr. H in Idaho has often mentioned growing Jerusalem artichokes on his land, or as he prefers to call them, sun roots. He's asked me if I had ever tried growing them, as they are a very easy to grow root crop. I told him, that I had never seen the tubers to start the plants of with for sale in Italy and didn't think they were known to Italians.
Now currently we have a helpXer staying with us, who incidentally is not exactly from Jerusalem, but from Israel. As we went on a walk with the dog the day before yesterday, showing her some of the wild foods growing around here, she pointed at these tall yellow flowers asking me whether they were sunflowers or Jerusalem artichokes:
I said I was sure they weren't sunflowers, and I didn't think they were Jerusalem artichokes as they grew wild everywhere including on a wilder corner of our land. She said it did look like the latter though, and if we did have some on our land, we should dig for the roots and have a look. And lo and behold... this is what we dug up:
I peeled a bit there and then and tasted it... Hmmm! Really juicy and tasty even raw. So here we go, Mr.H, no need to send me any tubers I just cultivate some of the wild stuff that grows abundantly all over the place! I now understand too why you call them sunroots. I don't think you have ever shown us a picture of the pretty flowers.
A quick word about food in general and roots in the figurative sense. We should all go back to our cultural roots eating in season and re-learning to find and use the wild foods that nature gives us so abundantly for free both for the good of our planet and for our own health. Now wasn't that all beautifully summed up and brought to a conclusion, (if I say so myself... ;)).
PS: I now found my camera and replaced the above images with my own,,,