December 07, 2007 10:39 AM- please sir, can I have some more?

Since you liked the snowy shots that were completely devoid of sunshine which, for me, are dreary, I figured you deserved to see it in a prettier light, i.e. the next day.

Somehow this first big hit of winter has prompted me to do more cooking than normal. Wednesday I followed a recipe stolen from Tara that, don?t freak, is for turnip soup.

I know, I know?I probably just lost you all, didn?t I? Honestly. Why do vegetables get such a bad rap? I just don?t understand it. Not at all. When I see books like that Jessica Seinfeld crap about how to hide vegetables from kids because they won?t eat them if they know what they are, I just want to throw tomatoes. Of course developing a palate is a sophisticated thing, much like civilizing a small child not to hit or spit or whatever it is we teach children in order for them to become part of our adult population.

Why is food so different? Why would we want to raise a generation of kids who is only capable of eating chicken fingers and French fries?

A couple years ago, we were down in Florida visiting T?s brother. For me, being out of the hinterlands means going out to a restaurant that is not going to serve some variation on meat and potatoes. I was excited to go out for Indian or Vietnamese or French or basically anything, as long as it was different from what I could normally get around here. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law?s boyfriend did not feel the same. I will never forget staring at him in awe as he sat, cross-legged, on the floor and to every suggestion we made he?d shake his head and whine, ?I don?t LIKE that kind of food.? The kicker? He wouldn?t even eat Mexican food! ?They mix all the beans with the rice and the?I don?t LIKE that kind of food.?

That?s when I lost it. Are you serious? How can anyone not like Mexican food?

Where did we end up that night? FUH-REEK-ING Outback.

Wow?I believe the above is known as a digression. I guess I have very strong feelings about food. I do. I believe food (and wine) are part of the magic and art of daily life. And it pains me?PAINS me, to be living in a culture that could not be more opposite.

So, anyway, I was making turnip soup because Tara made it for me last time I was at her house with fresh turnips from Truro (which are their own kind of perfection) and it was delicious. T, as you might recall, is mighty fond of turnips and so I was making this soup for him.

However, although I was taking photos to share this culinary adventure with you, I only got so far because T called to say he had a work dinner and wouldn?t be coming home. So I made the soup, put it in the fridge and we had it last night but we had guests over and there?s no way I?m going to pull out the camera to photograph food as I?m serving it. But, for the two (one?) of you still reading along?here?s the recipe.

Put two tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a sauce pan and add one sliced onion. Cook over low heat till onions are soft. Add two medium turnips-- peeled and chopped, two tablespoons fresh thyme, 1 russet potato-- peeled and chopped, six cups chicken stock. Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer.

Meanwhile, cook up 4 slices of bacon.

When turnips and potato are soft, puree. Put back into the pot with a quarter cup of cream and two tablespoons of maple syrup.

Serve with a sprinkle of bacon and pine nuts.

While I was cooking, my faithful helper was ever underfoot at my side. But, look at that face, she has been wounded, yet again.

See the cut on the inside of her left eye? Gosh. How do you think that got there?

Could it be her attacking Ollie?

I tell you?all I want for Christmas is a video camera because if I could get these dogs on film oh, the Youtubes I could share with you?she is keeRAYzee that dog of mine.

DAISY: No, don't look at me. I'm hideous.

And, this has gone on way too long so I?ll stop here. A la prochaine?

got 2 cents?

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catherine says:
all I want for christmas is to continue reading Blue Poppy...some days, nothing makes me happier than to read your blog. And I don't miss the snow at all (ok, that's a lie - I'll miss 10 minutes of it.)
posted on: December 07

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Sherry says:
Children are born with many more taste buds than the average adult. Over time, those taste buds deaden. Says my 16 year old. Or is this just his excuse for stuffing broccoli under the china cabinet only to have my cat paw the florets out the next day and show me. She?ll actually sit there till I notice. She?s so good. So the excess of taste buds leaves the children with aversions to bitter foods. So it is said. Over time, with maturity they expand their choices at will. I can find holes in that study, by experience. My 11 year old will actually eat broccoli. So does that mean he has dead taste buds already? With that said, vegetables should always be present whether they like them or not. The theory is, put it in front of them and eventually they will eat it. THEORY is say, because it has not worked for my children. I can only hope they learn from seeing, experiencing smelling, perhaps one day tasting. There is a lot of guilt, knowing they are not getting enough vegetables. Believe me, we?ve gone through the ?eat three bites? just to watch them gag. Not a pretty site. I agree with you and our Americanization of food. Bad, bad, bad. We have such abundance here, why do we not embrace it?
posted on: December 07

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bp says:
oh sherry-- trust me, I DO understand. I did not have the palate I have today as I child. Not. At. All. Yet, I credit my parents because they insisted we try-- "just a taste" my mother would say, which would be a quarter of a teaspoon. I cannot tell you how many years of "just a taste' of squash (food for the anti-christ, in those years) at each Thanksgiving ended up with me LOVINg squash. And yes, because you only come into your tastebud powers as an adult, it is one of the benefits of old age is bringing in new foods to your life. but if the openness and attitude is not cultivated, it's an adult like my brother's boyfriend where only pizza, chicken and french fries are what's for dinner.
posted on: December 07

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Amber says:
Ava is a rare four-year-old who eats her vegetables and you want to know why? Because I give them to her. Now I know that not all kids are quite so compliant as she is, but I do believe that most of the fault lies with the parents. So many adults that I know of are picky eaters and I think their bad eating habits get handed right down. Ava will turn her nose up to things we set in front of her but she knows that we expect her to at least try it and she also knows how empty her tummy will be if she doesn't eat what's on her plate. Most often once she gets over her food snobbery, she ends up liking the very thing she "eeewed". We as parents need to be firm and not cave to the whiny chicken nugget dictators!
posted on: December 07

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Jazz says:
And it pains me?PAINS me, to be living in a culture that could not be more opposite. Come to see me in Montreal... We'll eat and drink and be merry.
posted on: December 07

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Sherry says:
You?ll never believe this but I just brought home broccoli! Yes, it will be there on the dinner table tonight. I will hope in your mother?s technique and continue to offer a variety of foods. I look forward to the day I go to my children?s houses for dinner to see them eating vegetables. That?s when I?ll say to myself, yea, it worked here too! Cheers to cultivating good and healthy vegetable enjoyment! *broccoli florets "clinking"*
posted on: December 07

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lizardek says:
Every post from you is like a breath of fresh air. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without it...without you! My mom and I think the soup sounds fantastic and I shall be putting turnips on the shopping list right after I get done commenting :) (PS - my kids must "taste" too and so far, it's working like a charm. Of course, they adore artichokes and broccoli already and are mad fiends for sushi, so I consider that I'm doing pretty good so far.
posted on: December 07

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Heather says:
Oh come to Kansas and I'll share Dorothy Lynch salad dressing with you (NOT!). We have our own winter wonderland this week and I'm sitting by the fire with a glass of wine myself. Yum! PS - I want to send you a Christmas card mon cherie. Would you mind emailing me your address again, as I seem to have lost it.
posted on: December 08

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Absolute Vanilla... (and Atyllah) says:
Beautiful and stunning images! And more importantly... You've got a Golden Retriever! You've got a Golden Retriever! You are therefore one of the very best sort of people in the world! (Me? A Golden Retriever fan? Does it show? ;-) If you scroll a few posts back on my blog it'll make sense, honest.)
posted on: December 09

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christina says:
I'm so with you on this one. Two of my friends recently purchased that book and touted it highly and I kept thinking--why would you want to puree up everything and hide it? My kid LIKES sweet potatos and spinach and red peppers. (I am so going to take this idea for a Parentdish post.) xoxox!
posted on: December 09

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susan says:
ah thank YOU so much for the recipe! we all love (and always did) the "neeps"! infact, one thanksgiving long ago our friends who don't eat many vegetables, "accidentally" tried some... they serve them once a week now at least! yes, you should get a video cam. action shots would be wonderful! talk soon, s
posted on: December 10

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Reya Mellicker says:
I love snow, though if I lived way up there in New England, I might get tired of it after awhile. Here in DC we get just enough. Then it melts and we go on about our business. Vegetables? Love them. Love root vegetable soups. I especially loved the view out across your kitchen table. What a view!
posted on: December 11

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