Savoring the Seasons: The roots of winter warmth
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
What a weather roller coaster we’ve been on this past month! COLD, then warm, now COLD again. One of the ways I’m staying warm is enjoying lots of root vegetables, including beets, potatoes, and Gilfeather turnips.
You can see a simple, tasty recipe for Gilfeather turnips from Sarah Voiland at Red Fire Farm below. Red Fire Farm is one of many farms that will be represented at the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on Feb. 1. That market is the beginning of the Franklin County Week of Winter Fare. I’m on sabbatical from the Winter Fare organizing committee this year, but I’ll be volunteering at the farmers market, and helping organize a local food potluck in Conway for that week. Winter Fare organizers are looking for volunteers and events. I hope you can help out!
I’m also considering what to take to the annual Winter Fare Barter Fair right after the farmers market on Feb. 1. I still have lots of peaches I froze last summer, and some pesto, and I need to check the ground cherries I stored.
What did you preserve or store last summer? What are your favorite winter local food recipes? Please send me recipes to include on next week’s special food page!
Franklin County Week of Winter Fare Wants YOU!
Volunteers needed for Greenfield Winter Fare, at Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (set-up starting at 9 a.m., breakdown until 2 p.m., Greenfield High School, Entrance on Kent Avenue off of Silver Street (most direct way to parking and new high school entrance). Volunteer opportunities include setting up, assisting at soup café, customer counts, coordinating traffic flow, and breakdown. To volunteer, contact Devon Whitney-Deal at email@example.com.
We’re seeking Local-Food-Related Events during the Franklin County Week of Winter Fare. Last year’s events included local food potlucks sponsored by area churches and neighborhood groups, food and beverage tastings, films, workshops, and panel discussions. You plan and organize it, and Winter Fare organizers promote it. Events can be held on any day between Feb. 1 and Feb. 9, and held in any location in Franklin County, and can be free or require a registration fee. Send event information to Trouble Mandeson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-668-6997. For general information about Winter Fare, visit http://greenfieldfarmersmarket.com/winter-fare.
This week we’re eating…
GILFEATHER TURNIP PUREE
By Sarah Voiland, Red Fire Farm, Montague & Granby
A very easy and delicious dish, we make it all through the winter. Gilfeather turnips are part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste (www.slowfoodusa.com) because of their amazing flavor and cultural heritage. Gilfeathers were developed in Vermont by John Gilfeather, a farmer who kept his prized variety carefully guarded. He went to the lengths of chopping the top and root off each turnip before sale, so no one could regrow the plant. Thankfully a few seeds sneaked out, and we are now able to keep this special type going. It looks more like a rutabaga than a turnip, but the flesh is white and makes a beautiful sweet-flavored puree.
Gilfeather Turnips peeled and chopped in large pieces
1-3 T. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
In large sauce pot, just cover chopped Gilfeather turnips with water, and boil until soft to the tines of a fork. With slotted spoon, take out turnip chunks, and transfer to food processor (if you don’t have one, you can mash them). Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and puree just until all chunks are pureed. Taste and add salt as desired.
I like to put in a little thyme in. Serve hot solo or with any garnishes you like — ideas include: salty caramelized onions, chopped apples or fried celeriac strings.