On Christmas Day, we dug up the first of this winter’s parsnips.
They were mighty roots, much larger than we’d expected – how deceptive their slender foliage can be! – and we roasted only two of the smaller ones to accompany our Christmas lunch. The remainder have since made a hearty curried parsnip soup which keeps us warm on these grey January days, while half a dozen remain in the ground for the weeks to come.
My sister and I also picked a bowl of small Brussels sprouts on Christmas morning, leaving the plants in place; a flourish of greenery standing atop bare knobbled stalks. Several days later, we harvested the small tender leaves from the growing tips for a fine dish of ‘bubble and squeak’, and finally composted the stems.
Our cauliflowers are still growing, hopefully forming sweet white curds, and the savoy cabbages slumber on in their bed, while I have been picking leaves from the kales this week; green curly kale, red curly kale and Cavolo nero. They make a beautiful bunch…
… and a fine meal, accompanied by some of our stored red onions, garlic and shallots harvested from the garden at the end of the summer.
These are modest crops, yet as we await our seed orders for the growing season ahead, there is something deeply satisfying about continuing to enjoy the results of last year’s plantings.