Guide to Winter Root Vegetables

Charlene introduced some winter root vegetables to the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for this meet. We often leave out vegetables that we are unfamiliar with when we do our groceries shopping. A session like this will help us to learn more about some of this winter root vegetables and hopefully we’ll try them in our next groceries shopping trip.

Winter-Root-Vegetables-20-400x600

For this session, Charlene picked four winter root vegetables, i.e. Rutabaga or Swede, Turnip, Celery Root or Celeriac and Parsnips. Can you tell which is which from the above picture?

Winter-Root-Vegetables-21-400x600

June, Christina and Chris Morris prepared and roasted the above winter root vegetables for everyone to try.

Ingredients

Here is what Charlene shared with us.

The first winter root vegetable introduced here is Rutabaga. It is also known as Swede or Yellow Turnip. Rutabagas are nutty, sweet and slightly peppery. They are delicious mashed with potatoes, cubed and roasted or boiled. When buying rutabagas, choose the smaller ones and they are less woody. The skin of rutabaga is quite tough to peel.

The second winter root vegetable is Turnip. The larger the turnip, the tougher and more strongly flavoured they become. Always choose the smallest turnips you can find at the grocer’s. Turnips can be creamed or made into an au gratin dish. It can be cubed in stews, glazed with carrots, or roasted but do no overcook them. Some cooks like to grate a turnip into their soups as a secret ingredient to give extra dept of flavour to the soup.

Winter-Root-Vegetables-30-600x400

The third winter root vegetable is celery root or Celeriac. This seemed to be the best favoured winter root vegetable among all the fours. It has a mild celery flavour to it. Celery root is the ugly stepdaughter of the vegetable world as it is rough and knobbly. It’s mild and aromatic flavour is delicious cooked or eaten raw. It is often cut into shoestrings and made into a salad with mayonnaise and mustard, remoulade. To prepare celery root, cut off the top and bottom of the root. Place a flat side on a cutting board and remove the tough peel in lengthwise strips.

Winter-Root-Vegetables-31-600x400

The last winter root vegetable introduced here is parsnips. This is my favourite. Parsnips resemble creamy-coloured carrots. They are sweet and complex. Their delightful flavour can be showcased on its own, whether roasted, in a creamy soup, or boiled and pureed to serve as a lush accompaniment to meats. Avoid gargantuan parsnips, as they tend to be woody in the middle.
Continue reading

Weekend Musings (23-Jan-2010)

We had wanted to eat light the past week. We were doing OK except we ended up having heavy dinners on two nights. Back to square one. Below are what we had last week which we will be blogging about next week. Can you guess what they are?

Weekend-Musings-23Jan10-1-150x150Weekend-Musings-23Jan10-2-150x150Weekend-Musings-23Jan10-21-150x150Weekend-Musings-23Jan10-20-150x150

There is going to be a lot more musings this week. Got lots on my mind that I want to unload for chowtimes readers.

12B Underground Kitchen

12B-Underground-88-150x150All plans are pretty much set. Dinner is confirmed for 31-Jan. That is a Sunday night. We might have three more places available pending confirmation. If any of you want to be put on the standby list, send me an email at ben@chowtimes.com. This is one dinner Suanne and I look so much forward to.

Chef Todd is a big boy now. He was featured in the papers last week. And then at the same time, he told me that the “donation” is now $65 instead of $50. Wasn’t too happy at all.

Anyway, for those of you who do not know of Chef Todd and the 12B Underground Kitchen, you can read of my experience here.

The Eight Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine

Song_Dynasty_Elegant_Party-150x150It is still very much on our radar.

We just did not have time to get going on this project which I mentioned on the post here. I know I need to get some plans going or else this is going to turn cold … if not already. LOL!

We did go to the Richmond Public Library to get some books about Chinese cuisine. This makes for good weekend reading. Frankly, one can only learn so much from books. It is learning from the experts that makes the most difference. Some of you had sent me emails volunteering to help — I’ll call on you soon!

I just wanted to let you know I am serious about this project.

ben@chowtimes.com a Spammer?

Oh yeah. It seems that our emails sent from our @chowtimes.com account ended on spam folders of many email clients. I don’t know what is the best way around this but to ask you to check your spam folder and unspam/unjunk us. I think you only need to do it once and we’re OK.

Chowtimes.com Outages

We had been getting a lot of outages last week. This seems to be getting worse as the traffic on the site grows. Last month we had 173,000 pageviews. This month we are on track to surpass 196,000 pageviews. Also I have a lot of “stuff” on the site which makes it heavier than most WordPress blogs.

This somewhat worries me to tell the truth. We were kicked out by our old hosting company last year because we had too much traffic and overloaded the servers. Our hosting plan today is still cheap — just $13 a month. We are seriously thinking of proactively moving to a dedicated plan if the traffic growth continues.

At the meantime, sorry for all the outages. The outages are usually fixed within 30 to 120 minutes.

That’s it for today folks. Looks like it’s going to be another gorgeous day in Vancouver today.

Have a good weekend, eat well and enjoy this Coca-Cola viral video below.