Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pastinaken and Zoete Aardappel (October 3, 2005)

And you wonder ... 'What?'

I was more fortunate, I saw the vegetable, rather than reading the names - Parsnip and Kumara (sweet potato) in Dutch.

The Belgian and Dutch supermarkets have become a source of delight and wonderment, or so it must seem for those reading my blogs but ... can you imagine, Gert had never heard of or tasted either vegetable. Back in my world, they were food from my childhood.

We were wandering the Delhaize supermarket, choosing potatoes big enough to bake, when I spotted my beloved Kumara. I leapt about, mostly on the inside of course, and tried to explain them to Gert.

Over dinner, as with everything I comment on, I might have said something along the lines of ... "Well, I think they taste better in New Zealand, but then again, there's less pollution and no genetic engineering Downunder.' (I suspect I'm pushing the limits of 'endearing' with this kind of thing, but one must find one's limits). No matter, they are good here - we've roasted them twice now.

I went on in the days following, reminiscing about parsnips, so surprised that Gert had never heard of them either... they mash potatoes and carrots together, and I said 'Well!', with my eyes full of mischief, (or so I was told) ... 'in New Zealand, we mash carrots and parsnips together actually, and that's so good' (the unspoken implication being, of course, that the NZ way is the better way).

Life goes on, and we were back in the Netherlands the other day. And after a walk out on the Heath, amongst all the Heather, we stopped in at a Dutch supermarket and found Parsnips too ...

Mmmm, and I might have tested our love with 'Oh my god, these are so small! Dad's parsnip have shoots growing off them that are as big as an entire parsnip here ...'

Gert is so patient, and so good to me ...
We roasted the Parsnips, and the next night we mashed them with carrots ...
It's the small things sometimes.

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