red flannel pantry

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tops & bottoms

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The harvest yesterday was all root vegetables or “bottoms” as my family calls them.

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When my kids were little, they were tickled by Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens–we read our well-worn copy over and over. In this clever trickster tale, an industrious laborer rabbit and a lazy landowner bear agree to “split” the harvest, with the rabbit on the winning end until the bear realizes he needs to do his own farm work.

Tomorrow it’ll be time to harvest some “tops”–lettuce, fennel fronds and rhubarb.

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8 thoughts on “tops & bottoms

  1. I accidentally planted beets this spring. I failed to put on my glasses while in the plant section of the local hardware store. I thought I was getting Swiss chard. Got beets instead. The green parts are looking quite lovely and I can see some beet “shoulders” right above the soil level. When are they ready to be picked? how do you tell?

    • I have never planted beets so I don’t know how one knows when to harvest them. When I plant seeds, I try to put the harvest date on the craft stick on the end of the row so I remember when I should start checking. Of course, this year we forgot to do that, so I guessed with the carrot harvest–so far, so good, tho’ they are a little undersized. What do you plan to do with your beets? I have heard that they are very good pickled.

      • I have gone absolutely nuts over roasted beets. I got quite a few this past winter in my organic produce box that gets delivered every other week. I spread them out whole on a rimmed cookie sheet, sprinkle them with olive oil and salt, roast at 350 degrees until tender. That, of course, depends on the size. 45 minutes usually is enough. If they are really large, a bit longer. When they are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off. Things that I have read suggest using a paper towel, etc. I just used my hands. They got pretty pink, but it wore off quickly. Oh, and one word of caution, they have an effect on your urinary system. I thought I had an infection or cancer or something. Turns things pink. After googling “pink urine”, I found my answer. I know – TMI.

      • Ha! Good for you, CSA-ing it. Roasting vegetables is a marvelous thing–thanks for the tip about roasting beets–will try soon. I am fond of roasted asparagus–it has an effect similar to that of beets!

  2. Thanks for pointing out this book. It looks like the type of book I want to read to my daughter and one she would enjoy.

  3. I pulled up my beets yesterday. Did I say I was impatient? There were six plants. Three had nice tennis ball sized beets and three were the size of marbles. Those three didn’t get as much sun, I think. Anyway, the tops were steamed/braised/boiled (cooked in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water in the bottom) and eaten as my vegetable last night. The taste was somewhere between Swiss chard and spinach. The beets themselves were roasted and are awaiting a vinaigrette dressing for today’s lunch with salad greens, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds. Now that I know how easy they are I will plant them again from seed next spring.

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