Today my older sister turns…. well…. a few years older than me, so young!  That’s Vic in the front of the picture above, me in the middle, and Cousin Tracy, whose birthday is also today, at the back.  We’ve all aged slightly since this photo, but all still look great!  Vic taught me some pretty questionable things when we were young, but also gave me some pretty important information.  Like about boys.  And boy germs.  We spent an embarrassingly significant amount of our childhood making “sniffy-whiffy,” a fairly effective boy-repellent consisting mainly of pulverized skunk cabbage.

We also once banded together with our younger sister to draw up posters and march around the dining room protesting Mom’s latest culinary masterpiece, Parsnip Patties.  I like parsnips, at least I do now, but I’m still not sure about them in patty form.  Vic still hates parsnips.

Anyhow, she’s out of town for work, and I don’t need to eat another cake, so in honour of our united (and, incidentally, successful) campaign against the parsnip patties, I’ll share a couple of parsnip recipes here.

Cookery Made Easy, by A Lady takes a simple approach:

They are to be cleaned and cooked just in the same manner as carrots; they require from an hour to two hours of boiling, according to their size,–therefore match them nearly in size for each cooking.–You must try them by thrusting a fork into them as they are in the water; when that goes easily through, they are done.

My edition of Cookery Made Easy, the 21st, dates to approximately the 1880s.

The Good Housekeeping Cookbook takes an approach that might be similar to Mom’s patties, though she normally just serves her parsnips boiled or roasted.

Parsnip Patties

4 c. pared, cored, thinly sliced parsnips

1/3 c.sliced onions

1 3/4 teasp. salt

1 1/4 c. boiling water

1/4 c. minced parsley

1 egg, beaten

1/2 c. coarse, day-old bread crumbs

speck pepper

finely sifted, dried bread crumbs

2 tablesp. fat or salad oil

Cook the parsnips and the onions, with the salt in the boiling water for about 15 min, or until tender.  Drain; mash well.  Add parsley, egg, coarse bread crumbs and pepper.  Chill well, then form into 8 patties.  Roll in finely sifted dried bread crumbs, and saute on both sides in the fat until brown.  Makes 8 patties.

My 1944 Good Housekeeping Cook Book was edited by Dorothy B. Marsh.

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