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Parsnips, Carrots, Leeks Cook to Store

Harvested the last of the parsnips. Normally I’d expect them to keep for at least another month or two even. The problem is that it’s been so warm that the parsnips are regrowing already. The only thing to do is use them or lose them. About 3 kilos which is a fair amount.

Cleared a carrot bed from the polytunnel. Lots of very little ones but quite a few decent sized. I really should have thinned them out months ago but I didn’t so we are where we are. All in all, about 4 kilos of usable carrots, not too shabby!

Parsnips, Carrots, Swede, Elephant Garlic

Some Parsnips, Carrots, Swede, Elephant Garlic – notice the parsnips sprouting already

Carrot and Parsnip Mash

The obvious answer was to cook up a batch of carrot and parsnip mash which freezes well. Because of the amount the energy efficient pressure cooker took the load. I love our Prestige Hi-Dome pressure cooker. 40 years of service plus and still going strong.

I’ve had people look at my ‘old fashioned’ Hi-Dome with contempt as they’ve got super duper electric multi-function pressure cookers. A few years later their machine has died and they’re buying another. I did have to buy a new gasket a few years back and replaced the safety valve. Incidentally, if the electric fails and the gas runs out, we can cook a one pot meal in minutes on the woodburner.

Maybe it’s just my age but I do prefer a lot of old Prestige kitchen utensils like a slotted spoon or fish slice to the modern equivalents. And you’ll have to take my 40 year old Prestige potato masher from my cold dead hand!

Having said that, some modern kitchen gadgets are brilliant. The breadmaker gives consistently good results with little effort and the stick blender is just wonderful. Perhaps we’ll have an air fryer one day but first we’ll see if they are still being used when all the hype dies down.

Carrot & Parsnip Mash Recipe

Leek Potato & Stilton Soup

Sometimes we get comments on our recipes that we don’t give detailed enough instructions or say how many calories are in a recipe or how long it will take to prepare. I have to resist an urge to tell them to stick to microwave ready meals when I’m in a grumpy mood!

To us a recipe is usually more a helpful guide to the art of cooking a type of meal than paint by numbers. Having said that, with some recipes like jams it’s best to stick to the recipe until you really know what you’re doing. Hence many old recipe books are basic and assume a certain level of knowledge. Often they just referred to medium or hot heat for the oven.

People knew that their new oven wouldn’t cook evenly or totally agree with the thermostat so they were urged to bake small cakes in different parts of the oven until they knew its individual characteristics.

Back to the soup!

I had an urge for leek and potato soup with Stilton cheese, the recipe is on our site. It’s easy to make and we’ve leeks galore. We’ve also got some Stilton cheese left from Christmas in the freezer. It will store but the flavour goes a bit funny after a while. With tinned soup running at £1.20 a tin plus, making our own soup makes financial sense as well as being healthier and far better tasting – if I say so myself!

Rather than just potatoes, I used up a couple of small parsnips and a small damaged Swede. I used a a bulb and a half of elephant garlic. It’s related to leeks and a much milder flavour than normal garlic so it won’t overwhelm the soup. The recipe calls for an onion but I used a number of shallots instead.

Increased from two pints of stock, because of the quantity of veggies I used three. Once again the pressure cooker came into action and then the stick blender. End result, the equivalent of six cans for the cost of some Stilton, three stock cubes and a little butter. Absolutely delicious and pretty healthy too.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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