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Sunday, March 10, 2013
Last fall, neighbors gave us a bag of turnips from the bounty of their garden.
So pretty, those smooth-skinned spheres with their royal purple tops. We put the bag in the garage, which stays cold. Perfect preservation so we could use a few whenever we wanted.
We had cubed turnips boiled, served with a bit of butter. Mashed turnips - I like butter and fresh ground black pepper on mine. Turnips in stew: wonderful. And for me, trying to stay away from the cookie jar and the candy bowl: raw turnip slices as a snack, crisp, crunchy and sweet, with some salt.
Come February, the remaining turnips in the garage began to sprout green leaves. They knew spring was coming in spite of the cold!
I cut off the tops of two or three and set them in a shallow bowl of water in the kitchen window. Those tops grew. And grew. And grew!
Bright green leaves, ruffled, bursting with vitamins, you could tell.
Today, the first of March, I'm going to "harvest" those tops and combine them with my lunch salad greens.
All from a bag of turnips from the neighbors. Now THAT'S what I call a truly neighborly gift!
-- B.R. Culbertson, a reader in Blacksburg
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