Saturday, December 11, 2010


I had the most GAS-tronomical learning experience, and it swallowed so warm and hardy. Fresh from the garden, Sunchoke-Dill-Chowder set sweet in my family's tummies. Such contentment brought smiles to each of our faces as we remarked, “This sunchoke soup has the most exquisite taste! Why don’t you find these exotics hogging up aisle space of the grocery store? What a lost treasure! People don’t know what they’re missing!”
Prep work began at the spice garden over-flow. Dill is burried in there somewhere!! Bev, the featured picker, is Bee Haven Acre's gardener, farm hand, decorator, seamstress, mother of 5 dogs-4 horses-3 turkeys-lots of fainting goats-roosters-hens-ducks-oh my! You name it, she does it. But, I'm proud to claim her as my stepmom! 
Onions, onions, all around. We sweat a couple of these with the other veggies and souped them up. Beforehand, these were harvested and set on the back of the 4 wheeler, not for transport but to begin the curing process. Creativity at its finest!
Meet Manerva, the prettiest garden scarecrow I ever did see. She once had padding to accentuate her hips, but that all settled to her back side. Now she can brag of her bedonkadonk.

Speaking of butts, those sunchoke praises came to bite us in ours. No, really! The veggie's blast-a-cap-off antics stirred, churned, flipped-flopped, twisted, and jerked into our gut. Midsections a-bloadin’ predicated one line-of-fire result: farts out the wazooh.  It left us with artichoke scented stink-puffs, quite gruesome, if you ask me (or anyone else within a 2 mile radius)!
I guess it didn’t help that my nutrition nerdiness kicked in directly after dinnertime. I did my research, but it was already too late.

The pros started out light and fluffy, innocent enough:
Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes accrue wild yet are easily cultivated. Relative to the tubor veggies, they grow elongated, knobby, creamy white, red or purple skinned.  Its white pulp has a comforting and nutty flavor resembling grandma's golden-crusted potatoes (or maybe  the nuttiness and comfort of G-ma, herself) hinted with splash of cabbage, even roasted cauliflower. YUM!

Our chowder recipe compliments the sunchoke's earthiness with the sharp bite of cheddar, an onion-garlic-carrot tang, and the freshness from garden dill. UGGGHH—to die for!

Then IT BEGAN to get juicy—a reference to the hellacious aftermath:
The root contains an abundance of inulin, fructose-based carbohydrates. This science-talk stands for food that humans cannot digest.  So the dirty work is handed to our beneficial bacteria within our intestine. As they munch away, they spew CO2 into our abdomen while they sing: “Oh let the farts go marching down, down, down, and out!!

There's fart-be-gone hope:
Beano's always a safe store-bought bet. But too, long cooking (12 - 24 hours) and low temperatures (200 degrees F) will convert the carbohydrate to digestible fructose. Also, direct word from the farmers who grew them suggests that after 2-3 weeks of storage, the inulin naturally breaks down into fructose sugars well absorbed by your body. Do the math, and this leaves you with fewer detrimental farts evading every nook and cranny surrounding you.  

After cooking, puree them into soup, slice 'em, toss with some sort of dairy before running them under the broiler to make au gratin, or just mix with wintry vegetables.

There's lot of the nutritional value to Sunchokes:
1. Inulin promotes healthy gut flora (those beneficial bugs in our guts that help the food go through smooth).
2. Inulin keeps you regular.
3. Inulin helps manage diabetes: Because this carbohydrate is not easily digested, it stabilizes blood sugar unlike the spike and dips from your average cup of chowder. 
4. Filled with fiber, sunchokes suppress the appetite.

Now to finish my story:
In the night, everyone tucked into bed (even our five doggies—yes FIVE—featured below); there danced sugar plums in...interrupted by filthy, loathing, unwelcomed wind darting out of our wombs. Enough with those farts! We opened a window. Well, we opened ALL bedroom windows.

Oh hush, you people, don't think us lunatics for letting in the arctic chill!  I consider these farts of artichoke proportions!! 
Pup parade (promised above) down to the barn. These guys know when it's time to do farm work. 
Spright ol' Hickory, a 15-year-old puppy. She is a new arrival at Bee Haven. Without a doubt, farm-life added a healthy 5 years to her life.

Mad-dawg (slang for Maddie), my bear! This 140+ pound Newfoundland is a gentle giant who wouldn't hurt a fly...mostly because she's not fast enough to catch one!
Sadie-Bright is our Bernese Mountain Dog. If she took on human form, she would be front-of-the-line short bus material. We LOVE her and her doggie-autistic tendencies! 
Is that dog on the roof?? Yes, more on that later! For now, know this: Sammy-my-boy, who is as the farm for safekeeping, heeds first to my step bro.  
(Single ladies, check this brother out--the human, not the dog--he's the total package, the funny guy, a successful engineer, and a cook with killer grilling abilities.)
A shout out to Ben, Karah, and baby-Ellis for the humble donation of 350-ish Jerusalem artichokes. These farmers grew and plucked the goods from their backyard.  Thanks to my gleaning from your harvest, this blog came to life! Much love and passing-gas.

Finally, the recipe: Sunchoke-Dill-Chowder
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, sliced into water
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fingerling potatoes pealed and halved
  • 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups of cheese of your choice
  • 2 Teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill and a couple extra sprigs for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter, add onions and cook 1 minute; Stir constantly. Drain the sunchokes and add to pan with carrots and potatoes. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add flour, then gradually add stock. Cover for 20 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender or or food processor until smooth. Add milk, cheese, dry mustard, dill, salt, pepper, and blend again. Pour into a clean pan and reheat gently. Do not bring to a boil. 

Separate into serving bowls. Garnish as you see fit, and chow down!

The End!

This is why I endorse fart producing soups from scratch over the processed stuff:


  1. What a great post....informative, funny, creative....a terrific reflection of the author!!! Can't wait to share you with the blog world!!!

  2. PS....
    Hickory is 15 years old.