Kudos to Kohlrabi

Hands-down winner of the contest question "Which vegetable most resembles an alien space-craft?", kohlrabi is an unexpected visitor to most dinner tables. At first glance, it might not even appear edible. Its globe-shaped body sprouts arms thrown outward in all directions, under a crown of leaves pointing skyward. Further investigation reveals a pale green interior with a delicate, crisp taste and an undercurrent of sweetness. 

For the large percentage of the population who have never sampled kohlrabi, overcooking is an effective method of zapping any further interest. I recommend it in its simplest state: fresh from the garden, washed and peeled and cut into sticks, and perhaps splashed with a bit of lemon juice. Try it cubed or grated in salads, or marinated in a light vinaigrette with fennel slices. It can be briefly steamed or sautéed, and the leaves added to soups or curries. The reddish-purple varieties are even more exotic looking than the green ones, and both are high in Vitamin C and potassium. 

Kohlrabi and its brassica siblings broccoli, cauliflower, kale,
collards, cabbage and brussels sprouts, share a common ancestor, the wild cabbage, and come to us courtesy of northern 
Europe. The word "kohlrabi" is a direct implant into this language from German; "kohl" means cabbage, and "rabi" means turnip. Happily, we use its name untranslated; if overcooking weren't enough to turn prospective eaters away, the unfortunate term "cabbage-turnip" surely would be!

Often assumed to be a root vegetable, kohlrabi is actually the stem of the plant, which swells to a sphere shape as it matures. Plant seed ¼" deep in moist, rich soil. Thin to 4"-6" apart and keep well watered. Cabbage worms can usually be controlled by hand picking. Harvest when it's golf-ball sized or a bit larger. Kohlrabi favors cool weather; plant every week or two throughout spring for a continuous harvest until June. Let it sit out the heat of the summer, and plant again in September and October for mid-late fall harvests. Kohlrabi is tolerant of light frosts, and stores well in the refrigerator or root cellar for culinary enjoyment all winter long.

Studio Open House
The final weekend of my holiday open house will be Friday, December 17 from 4-7pm and Saturday, December 18 from 1-4pm at 1012 NW 32nd in OKC.

For view and for sale will be my Vegetable Prayers series of photo quilts and a wide variety of my handwoven scarves, shawls and fused glass earrings. Also lovely little Tarahumara baskets plus hot pepper jellies from Native Seeds/SEARCH, and beautiful handmade cards from two talented artist friends. 

I've set up a table in my workroom for anyone who'd like to try their hand at making pop-up cards (examples provided) or weaving coasters or bookmarks. I welcome you to drop by, enjoy a hot cup of tea and a houseful of art. 

               Issue # 5 - Fall/Winter 2004

Exhibits & Classes

I am absolutely delighted to have my quilt "A Salad Ballad" accepted into Quilt National '05. This quilt was featured in my last newsletter, and is currently on view at my studio. Quilt National is an international biennial competition dedicated to promoting the contemporary quilt as an art form. The exhibit will be on display at the Dairy Barn Cultural Art Center in Athens, Ohio from May 28 to September 5, 2005, and will continue as a travelling exhibit thru 2007. A photo of my quilt can also be seen on my website, eliawoods.com. 

My photo-fiber construction "Amazing Grace" was accepted in "Oklahoma: Centerfold." The exhibit is on display at the Leslie Powell Gallery in Lawton until Dec. 29, and then at the University of Science and Art in Chickasaw from Jan. 16 to Feb. 12. 

I hope you'll visit City Arts Center at the Fairgrounds for the City Arts Invitational exhibit, Jan. 21 to Feb. 26. I'll have a group of small framed photo-fiber pieces, the newest addition to my vegetable-inspired artwork.

A Taste of Weaving
Sunday Jan. 16, 1-4pm 
Oklahoma. City Museum of Art 
$20 members, $25 non-members. A hands-on way to get acquainted with the ancient art of weaving. Try out tapestry, inkle, backstrap, rigid heddle, tablet and table looms, and take home a sample from each. 

Stretched, Draped and Folded Photos 
Sat. April 30, 10am-4pm 
Oklahoma City Museum of Art 
$40 museum members, $45 non-members 
Using the heat transfer method, students will explore the unique qualities of form, movement and translucency that are possible when combining cloth and imagery. Enroll for either class at 236-3100 ext. 213 or online at okcmoa.com

My next adult weaving classes at City Arts Center begin Jan. 18. During the 8 week session, students learn the fundamentals of weaving while making a sampler or table runner. Table loom and supplies are provided, cost is $104. Tuesdays from 7-9pm or Thursdays 10-12 noon. Or try my one-day beginning weaving workshop, Sat. March 19 from 9am-5pm. Cost is $65 and includes a catered lunch. Call 951-0000 to enroll for either class.

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