Have never eaten parsnips of leeks either. There's leeks in the store, don't remember seeing parsnips. Might have to try some of those leeks. I bet they should grow through the fall/winter here. Do they like cool weather? Since ya'll are talking about them and I know where ya'll live, leeks and parsnips might uproot themselves and hitchhike to ya'lls house!
Never missed grow'n 'em. Never missed cook'n 'em. Never missed eat'n 'em. I don't do parsnips.
Actually I have used them way back when I bought assorted "soup" vegetables all in one bag. Sort of tasted like more potatoes once the soup was ready to eat. And I did grow them in my very first garden. Despite my dream of the "Miracle of Potash", they didn't get very big and DH didn't like them. It's been nigh onto 44 years since that experience.
I've tried growing parsnips a few times, no luck growing the edible part of the plant to any good size. We have tried eating one before; Ma made mashed parsnips as an alternative to potatoes, the only bad part is she forgot to cook it. It wasn't very appetizing, haven't tried them since.
I have not tried growing or eating leeks. As with most edible Alliums they taste like onions, leaves may be used too. I'm sure you could grow leeks down there during the cool months. Parsnips... I'm not so sure.
Your father-in-law is up in heaven looking over your family and garden Carol.
may be an acquired taste but one I have. They are really hard to sprout. I haven't grown them for a while because of that. May have to try again. So many things, so little time (to weed that is) truth plenty of room.........