Savoring the Seasons: Column made possible by community of food lovers

The Recorder, November 7, 2017, by Mary McClintock

I’m not exaggerating when I say that writing this column has changed my life — greatly deepening my appreciation of Franklin County farmers, food producers, restaurateurs and store owners. And, beyond connecting me to people who produce and sell food grown in Franklin County, it has introduced me to countless people who have shared their enthusiasm for local food and this wonderful place we call home.

In my first column in July 2007, I said, “My goal for readers and myself is to have fun learning about great food. I don’t intend to sit off by myself thinking up things to write — it will take a community to write this column.” Indeed, this column is the community’s column and, together, we have strengthened our community.

As this column ends, I am reflecting on the many gifts it has given me. And, my mother taught me well. When I receive a gift, I write a thank-you note, or in this case, notes.

Thank you, Kate Stevens, John Hoffman and members of our early 2000s local food group for many great potluck meals, shared recipes and knowledge.

Thank you, Juanita Nelson, for helping me see the connection between eating locally grown food and social justice.

Thank you, Margaret Christie and everyone at CISA, for your encouragement to write weekly about locally grown food. I am continually inspired by your work, the original Local Heroes.

Thank you, Tim Blagg, former Recorder editor, for saying “yes” when I proposed to write a weekly column about locally grown food, even though I’d never written about food.

Thank you, Conway neighbor Ruth Parnall, for being one of the first to give me recipes to share in my column. I knew nothing about rutabagas when I started this column. I laughed when Ruth told me that in her family, rutabagas are known as Ruthabagas because she loves them so much. (See below for that recipe from Ruth)

I could fill a full column just with thank-yous, but I’ll end this with a heartfelt thank-you for reading all these years.

This week we’re eating …

Rutabaga Hash Browns: By Don Walker and Ruth Parnall, Conway


Peel a medium-sized rutabaga. Shred into thin “hash brown-type” strips with hand grater or food processor. Microwave for about 20 seconds until less crisp. Mix with 1 T. or so of flour and sliced onion or minced garlic.

Fry mixture in cast-iron skillet in butter or oil, turning with a spatula to brown both sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fried eggs.

Note: To make without a microwave, leave in frying pan a little longer. Put shreds in frying pan with a little water (¼ C. per 1 C. of rutabaga) and cook until water is gone, then add butter or olive oil and fry.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer. Send column suggestions and recipes to: