The White House garden made the top 10 news stories of 2009. Mrs. Obama wanted to give her girls the best meals they could eat...to help them grow up healthy and strong. She wanted to set an example for families struggling in the poor economy. Many people losing their jobs, copied her idea. Everywhere she went...this was what people wanted to talk to her about. A farmer's market was set up within walking distance from the White House. The White House chefs used produce from the garden and the market. People of importance copied the idea. Maria Shriver and the Queen of England. Garden shows had replicas of the garden. What an influence she has had on America's eating habits. One of my New Year's resolutions is to incorporate more fresh produce into our diet. Eating "fresh" takes more time than opening a can or freezer container, but the flavor is so much better. We all can have "fresh" now days....not like years ago, when stores didn't have variety in the cold months. When I was a girl, my Mom and Grandma never used convenience foods. In the winter our veggie diet changed to eating rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, carrots and lots of other root vegetables. My Mom could take root vegetables and roast them or make the most delicious vegetable soup. She would par boil parsnips and then saute them in butter...this is a favorite veggie for my daughter and me today. I really miss their cooking. We are always in such a hurry, when it comes to meal time. I just bought a new crockpot, with a Christmas gift card...and I will be sharing some recipes in the coming weeks. In the meantime I will dream of mashed rutabaga with butter on it. Yum!!!