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Daily Archives: March 25, 2012

In Search of Salsify

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Back in December, in our fall CSA from Sandy Spring, we got salsify in the box. A fuzzy strange looking vegetable.

I had no idea what to do with it, but went on line and started reading. It turns out that it is in the sunflower family, and the vegetable we see is the root of the purple salsify plant. It isn’t very common around here, but has been cultivated in other parts of the world to a greater extent.

It tastes like oysters, believe it or not. I went and found a huge collection of recipes on this site, vintage recipes. For one of my eat local challenge meals, I made the simple fritters recipe from the Boston cooking school cookbook of 1896. Cooking all of what I had from the CSA, and wishing afterwards that I could have had more of it.

I started searching for it. Found some really hard, gnarly ones at Harris Teeter in Maple Lawn. They were OK but not as flavorful as the fresh ones. It is going to be a quest at the farmer’s markets to ask if anyone does plant them. Since they are the root of a sunflower, I am guessing it will be pretty late in the season for me to see local ones, if at all. I may just have to identify a source and buy it in the fall or winter when it is ready to harvest.

If not there, I will also be checking out whether the new Wegman’s will have them. They did not at the Wegman’s in Frederick, although they have another root veggie I like, sunchokes. That is a topic I will write about sometime in the future. I find it a fascinating byproduct of the CSA, veggies you would not pick up on your own and make.

Anyone ever found salsify around here?


The Art of Stewardship

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All Things Round.

This year’s theme for the juried art show at the Howard County Conservancy.

At the auction on the 19th of April, you may find yourself in a bidding war with me for this piece. This porcelain disk with spirals is stunning in its simplicity. It is an eye catcher when you walk in the room. As are quite a few other pieces.

The details in some of the paintings:

Greg Mort, one of the judges, has a few pieces for sale in the show as well. He will be signing his books at the auction, as will Anne Raver, garden columnist for the New York Times, another of the judges. The third judge, Rebecca Hoffberger, is well known in the area as the founder and director of the Anerican Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

On Wednesdays through Saturdays, when the Conservancy is open to the public, anyone may wander around the Gudelsky Gallery and look at the art from now until April 19th when the auction takes place and the winners are announced. On the 19th, for $10, a wine and cheese reception is open to all who wish to bid, or just take in the art with the artists present to talk about their work. Many of the artists are local, and if you like their style, you may end up finding a source to add locally produced art to your home.

The art show is one of the recurring programs that the Conservancy holds. At least once a month, there is always something going on at the site on Rte. 99 in Woodstock.

If you want to take a walk on a lovely spring day, and stop in to view the art, it is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The Conservancy hours are 9-3 Wed-Sat. Call in advance to confirm that no organization is holding a meeting in the Gallery when you want to visit. The grounds are open during daylight hours for those wanting to wander the gardens and grounds.