Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Someone call the ambulance; there's gonna be an accident......

My mother used to work with this guy named Vinnie. I have only vague memories of him, as I was only four years old at the time. She worked with Vinnie at a printing company in Carlstadt, and I remember him having dark eyes and dark hair, and wearing nice suits, but I don't remember if he was handsome or not, or how I even gauged handsome at the age of four.

On weekends, Mum often had lots of friends over on Friday or Saturday nights, or she would meet those same friends for dinner and some drinks at Il Villagio (it wasn't that fancy back then...). Some of my earliest memories are of Il Villagio--in particular memories of falling asleep in the booth after my dinner of noodles with butter (which wasn't even on the menu, but they made it anyway because it was among the only 4 things I would eat in general {plain pasta, potatoes in any form, chicken nuggets, and chocolate}). I have vivid memories of laying down in the booth while Mum and her friends ate and drank, and of being showered with salt (Mum uses a TON of salt).

I was in love with Vinnie. I was actually convinced that we were getting married, and I told him so one weekend when Mum had him and a bunch of other friends over for barbequed steak and drinks. The adults present, of course, just laughed because they probably thought it was cute--how adorable, this kind of odd and sullen-faced little girl wants to marry handsome (let's just say he was) 30-something Vinnie from accounts payable.

I did not find this funny in the slightest. I fully intended to marry Vinnie. But Mum sent me off to bed and made me say goodnight to him, and I recall feeling kind of pissed off that no one had taken me seriously.

That was the second time I tried to run away.

Vinnie had a silver sports car. I knew which one it was because he had shown it to Mum and me when he arrived that evening. So I packed some essentials into my Care Bears backpack after Mum had sent me up to bed, and then crept downstairs, out the front door, and found Vinnie's car in the driveway. Lucky for me, he had left his silver sports car unlocked.

I presume I fell asleep in the backseat, because my memory goes blank there. The next thing I recall is coming home (with Vinnie) to my mother and not understanding why she was mad at me when she was the one who ruined my wedding.

'Tis interesting what a child's mind remembers. 

Recipe time!
I came up with this all by myself--a tasty and slightly healthier version of French fries. I have successfully served this to children without telling them that it contains Strange Vegetables, and they all liked it. 'Tis also very easy to make.

You will need:
- Parsnips
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano

To prepare:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. I usually do these in the toaster oven, but you can do them in the regular oven as well. I line the baking pan with foil, because it makes for easier cleaning, and grease it with just a tiny bit of the olive oil rubbed on the foil.

- Cut up the parsnips into French fry shapes. I make them just about the size of Wendy's French fries, but you can really make them whatever size you want--just make sure you adjust the cooking time.

- Dump all the cut up parsnips in a mixing bowl. Add enough olive oil to coat them evenly, but not too much oil or they end up too greasy (last time I made this, I used about 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil for 6 smallish-medium parsnips). Then sprinkle on some rosemary, thyme, and sage to your taste. And add a pinch of oregano (I'm not crazy about lots of oregano, so I only use a tiny pinch, but you can really use as much as you want). Mix it up together so the parsnips are evenly coated with the herbs. Add some salt and pepper as well.

- I prep the baking pan by throwing in a tiny bit of whipped butter (after coating the foil very lightly with the oil), and then sticking the pan in the oven for a couple minutes just until the butter melts, but you don't have to use the butter. I just think it adds a bit of a nicer flavour to the parsnips.

- Then dump the parsnips into the pan, and try to spread them out evenly. Cook about 30 minutes (less if your French fries are smaller, longer if they're larger).



  1. That's an awesome story Mich, it's amazing what people do when they're as young as the age of four, delicious sounding recipe too.

  2. I love the way you write a story!
    (not so sure about parsnip fries, tho...)

    xoxoxo, cd

  3. That's the thing I hated about being a child, too. No one does take you seriously! I was very glad to leave my childhood years behind me. I, too, was certain I was going to marry one of my mum's friends. Handsome bugger, he was! Nowadays he's old, overweight, married to an overweight woman and has far too many overweight kids! Lucky I didn't buy the dress! Hee-hee!

    Those parsnip oven chips look super delish! I love roast veg! The rule with roast veg... you can never have too much garlic and rosemary! The only thing nicer than rosemary is more rosemary!! YUM!!! :)

  4. Parsnip fries horray I'll be tricking lil miss b into eating this very soon.

  5. Oh the crazy ideas we get in our heads as toddlers!

    I LOVE your scale of handsome! But I think PeeWee should be at the top.

  6. Great story! But the whole time I read it all I could think of was, what does Vinnie look like! Have you ever asked your mom if he was a hansome man or a dorky guy? or boring as hell?

    (Hes probably in his late fifties early sixties now, I'm sure you could marry him now if you wanted to!)

  7. Vinny sounds like an absolute dreamboat. What's his number?

  8. Mmm, parsnip chips don't sound half bad!

  9. Awesome Recipe! However, I have never had parsnips.....what are they comparable to? If it's a potato.....sorry to be the dumb ass in an obviously occurence. LOL

  10. i love this story! Your childhood was amazing! i wish i had stories like that to tell!

    As always, the pics are superb! recipie looks yummy!

    Love from the Gate way to Nevada!

  11. http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/401050_343232805697238_266484180038768_1200529_491665143_n.jpg

    I don't know how else to share this with you, but I adore you and thought you ought to know it.

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for this parsnip recipe!! My first try with Parsnips was a dud but I'm totally going to try this. I'll letcha know


  13. WHOA those loook good didn't make it to the comment button without my mouth watering lol

  14. You had me at the word 'Parsnips' I love me some roasted parsnips!

    Guess what I'm planting this year? *Smug face*

    Take care and don't climb into any vehicles you can't drive if the cops come after you!


  15. Mich could you please make your blog availible in mobile format?
    I cant read your blog like this but I really want to !

    xx Bella

  16. Lol the 2nd time you ran away?? You've been rattling your cage from the get go, haven't you?

  17. Wow looks delicious, not so keen on being reminded about Pee-Wee Herman though.

  18. Aww that's such a cute story!
    Nice recipe :) I like it with sweet potato :)
    Lottie x

  19. I love that story :) I hate it when older people don't take you seriously when your a child :( That recipe looks delicious!! Come cook for me????xxx

  20. You can and do have interesting conversations!! you have them with me!! lol

    Also, when I was 4, I thought I was going to marry Jason...he was my mom's friend's youngest son who was a year older than me. We were serious buds.

    We tried to have sex once. We went in the bathroom and locked the door, took our clothes off and he tried to cram his little baby penis in my navel. I told him he was doing it WRONG coz that's not where it goes. Then I punched him in the stomach, put my clothes on and hit the kitchen for some oreos and milk.

    Clearly, you and me were made for each other.

    Also, I am feeling better now, thanks. Still bloated and weird, but no longer having the continually running eyes/nose like plague-ridden rabbit.



  21. Mich....Please send *vitamins....Gah!

  22. Oooooh, slightly less fattening french fries! I've never had a parsnip though, but I might have to give this a try. it looks delish!

    I can't believe you actually snuck into the back of Vinnie's car. That's classic! You're a born badass Mich :)

    I don't think I had any crushes at age 4, but I did have some strange ones soon after, including:
    my oldest sister's best friend (discovery=leather jackets/boots are sexy)
    my brother's wife (discovery=I have NO boundaries)
    Cyndi Lauper (discovery=I like girls that Wanna Have Fun)

    and my first school crush was in 2nd grade. her name was Amanda, and she had blonde hair. that's all i remember about her. (discovery=I LOVE blondes!)

  23. Parsnip fries? I've never had those before.

    Actually, I can't remember the last time I ate normal parsnips. ._.

  24. Dear Mich...i am so sorry my posts were too triggering. i never ment to hurt you.

  25. It speaks to Vinnie's character that he brought you back home. A gentleman and a scholar. Sorry about the childhood heartbreak. Tasty looking fries, though.

  26. I tried to comment but then google wanted my phone number. WTF?

    You're too nice :) If you want to hear a really good Kiwi voice look fro Paul Holmes or Judy Bailey. They're National Icons. Or the mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt. He cameoed in World's Fastest Indian. (I love that movie! Even though Anthony Hopkins couldn't quite get 'Invercargill' or 'motorcycle' right.

    I hope you're well. You may want to dig out your mailbox in about 10 days or so, little birds told me :p

    Take care and stay warm <3

  27. oh, you were an ADORABLE child! and an absolutely BRILLIANT one! I wish I'd known you then :)

  28. Wow so you were 4 the *2nd* time you tried to run away? How old were you the 1st time? Was it a crawl-away? Wow you've been a little rebel from day one ^_^
    I don't think I've ever had parsnips. This has me curious though. If little kids eat them they can't taste too strangely-plantlike. Some things I've eaten...well all I can say is some things I've tried they tasted like a greenhouse smells. It was weird.
    I should print out your recipes so I can actually reference them while in the kitchen. I'll probably make the desserts first though. You know my sweet tooth!


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