Cinnamon and Sugar Parsnips
As fascinating as the image may be of portly, bewigged dudes sitting around coffee shops being witty, I confess that as an English major I never found the literature of the “long eighteenth century” particularly interesting. But it did, admittedly, produce some of the most colorful characters of British history: A contemporary and frequent correspondent with Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn was a noted bibliophile, diarist, and gardener, and became in his elder years one of the first in early modern Europe to advocate for a diet of “wholsome Vegatables.” His book Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets, both a compendium of horticultural lore and manual for vegetarian cookery, was written in part as a corrective to the current and unhealthful vogue for red meat (and, not unlikely, for the associated problem of the aforementioned portliness among the gentlemanly class).
I followed here Evelyn’s description of the preparation of parsnips, substituting a non-hydrogenated vegan-friendly margarine for butter, and dusting the finished product with a two-to-one mixture of sugar and cinnamon: “Take the large Roots, boil them, and strip the Skin: Then slit them long-ways into pretty thin Slices; Flower and fry them in fresh Butter till they look brown. The sauce is other sweet Butter melted. Some strow Sugar and Cinamon upon them. Thus you may accomodate other Roots.”