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Florida Mountain Turnips! December 21, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Among the local wonders of this season are the World *ahem* Famous Florida Mountain Turnips.

Now, if you’re a “Turnip Person,” you’ll really appreciate this.  If you’re not  a Turnip Person, this might be a good time to go clean the refrigerator.

So.  Florida Mountain Turnips are grown up the hill from here in Florida, MA.  They’re more properly (and widely) known as Laurentian Purple Topped Rutabagas, on accounta they were brought here from the Laurentian mountains in North Central Quebec, they have purple tops, and, um, they’re rutabagas (Brassica napus, a cross-breeding between true turnips and cabbages. )  They’re a soft, pale yellow on the inside and as sweet as root crops of the cabbage family get, due to the early and frequent frosts up there.  I could plant them here, within ten miles of their Florida home, and they just wouldn’t come out the same.


Lucky for me, several Florida growers sell them.  I stumbled upon this sign along Route 2:

…and followed it to the home of one Mike Gancarz, who sells said “fresh” turnips.

“How Fresh,” you might ask?  Well, here’s Mike:

Here’s The Snatch:

…and voila!   Fresh Florida Mountain Turnips!

“You can’t get them any fresher than this,” he proudly proclaimed.

“I could if I wanted to get down on my hands and knees and eat ’em out of the dirt,” I replied.

We both laughed, then I paid the man $18 for 20 pounds.

Not bad for the Real Deal.

Come Christmas I’ll be bragging about how good they were.

OK, you picky flatlanders can shut the fridge and sit back down.  I’ll find something for you-all presently.



A Light Dinner February 19, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Being an inveterate “Hunter/Gatherer,” I try to get out to a decent restaurant once in a while, to hunt for and gather dinner ideas.

And being, um, “resource-challenged,” I usually go for an interesting sounding appetizer over an entrée I’m familiar with.

This past weekend I scooted on over to Hope & Olive, a great restaurant in the Teaming Megalopolis© of Greenfield, MA. to run their White Anchovy starter through the Gastronomic Deconstructor (that be me, heheh.) I’d had it before, but hadn’t sussed it out sufficiently to recreate it at home.

I gotta say, Chef Maggie could turn Cheerios into a five-star treat.

Anyway, I Came, I Saw, I Ate It. Then I came again.

And tonight I did my best to recreate it at home, on an entrée scale:


Marinated White Anchovies*, toasted almonds, and roasted root veggies (tonight, golden beet chips and rutabaga “fries”) on a bed of organic field greens and shaved fennel, with a Chipotle aioli. This was my first dance with Chipotle chilis, and it won’t be my last!

I’d say “Enjoy!” except that I performed The Hoover Maneuver, and it’s, um, gone!

* These are not the briny abominations you pick off your pizza. They’re marinated in olive oil, hot peppers, vinegar and spices, and have an extraordinary flavor and texture.