Friday, September 15, 2006

Special Autumnal RERUN: Rutabaga!

The soundtrack of every holiday of my childhood was the sound of rutabaga being chopped. Rutabaga is crazy dense. Picture a round object about the size of an infant's head, but a lot heavier. (Some of them are adult-head size, but my knife isn't that long.) The only way to get through it is to take your longest kitchen knife, sharpen it up, drive it in the first half inch or so, then whack the tip with your rolling pin. Hard. Over and over and over. Repeat this to cut the rutabaga into 1" chunks which you then boil and mash just like potatoes. It's hard, noisy work, cutting up the rutabaga. My mother likes to do the mashed potatoes and rutabaga first thing in the morning, so she just has to heat them up before the holiday meal. And when I say first thing in the morning, I mean first thing in the morning. For twenty-seven years I have woken up on Thanksgiving morning and Christmas Eve morning at about 6 or 6:30 a.m. to the sound of a rolling pin whacking a knife through a rutabaga.

Rutabaga!

2 comments:

Leslie said...

Thanks for the reprise on rutabaga. It was that post last November that led me to your blog the first time and I still chuckle when I harvest them and axe into them in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

So, like, hoe does this taste? I assume it is of holiday quality. And what is the ratio of potatoes to rutabega? I have to admit I have never heard of this. Is there a recipe or is this one of those take a bit of this and a handful of that tyoe thing?
Peggy