Thursday, November 17, 2011

half a rutabaga + half a southern pea = one whole painting

I woke up this morning thinking that the rutabagas I posted yesterday were not finished. They were missing shadows and needed the light colored lines at the top of the rutagaba below the stems to be more defined. So I went back into them. A fun way to add light-colored detail to a watercolor painting is to scratch off the watercolor, and even a bit of the paper, with the point of a razor:

Much better I think. And for another couple of rutabaga facts: you can eat the leaves too. I guess that might be obvious to some since you can eat turnip greens and cabbage leaves and it is a mix of the two. Anyway, I was also wondering why they put the wax on the outside of the ones you buy in the grocery store. Cabbage and turnips both store well in a cool, humid environment, so why the extra processing step? Well, turns out it is done just before marketing so they look more attractive and don't shrivel in the store, but if you are storing your own rutabagas you probably shouldn't wax them because it could actually make them not store for very long.

And the other half of a painting I worked on is of southern peas, also known as cow peas, field peas, crowder peas, and black-eyed peas:

These are a rather confusing vegetable. They look like a bean, but they are called a pea. Which one are they? Well, SESE solves the problem by putting them in their very own catagory in the seed catalog. And I suppose they deserve to be recognised as a distinct vegetable, although they are really more of a bean. The catalog tells us they "can be boiled, frozen, canned, or dried. Green seeds can be roasted like peanuts. Scorched seeds can be used as a coffee substitute. Leaves may be used as a potherb." I have had them after they have been boiled, frozen and dried, but none of the other ways. Most importantly, each time I have had them, they were yummy. 

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