Quick and Easy

Mashed Rutabagas

There are just some foods that require maturity. Brussels sprouts, liver and onions, beets, turnips, collards and rutabagas, to mention a few. It’s not that they aren’t tasty, it’s just that as children, our taste buds haven’t been around long enough to process all the dynamics of flavor.  Children’s taste buds change about every two years, but once you’re an adult, they change only once every seven years. This doesn’t explain why we hated some foods as kids and now love those same foods as adults, so I attribute it solely to maturity. ..whatever age that may be.

I think a lot of folks get confused about the difference between a rutabaga and turnip because they’re usually right next to each other at the store and, inevitably, someone will pick up a turnip, look at it and put it into the rutabaga bin! So now wonder we’re confused. Rutabagas are purple on the bottom and brown on the top. Turnips are purple and white. Solved. And they do not taste alike. Turnips have an almost spicy flavor where there flavor of the rutabaga most closely resembles that of our old friend, The Potato, except with more flavor. And nutrients. And color.

Cut away the waxy skin

I needed a vegetarian side dish that was good…I mean really good. And I needed color. I taught my daughter to “eat your colors”, meaning eat foods that aren’t all beige, brown or white (think french fries, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets…ugh). I had a few friends coming for dinner and I wanted to cook something a bit unique but not off the wall. So, I decided upon the rutabaga.

My Mom told me we used to eat rutabaga’s at my grandmother Rozie’s house. I don’t recall that but by god she’s 78 and she remembers everything…just like it was yesterday…or was in in ’74? or ’84? Never the mind, I believe her because I can’t remember squat some days. But I do know all the words to all the songs ever written since junior high. Ask my friend Amy; she will confirm this fact.

This recipe is so simple, healthy, colorful and unusual you might consider trying it out some night for yourself or your family. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, but man oh man, is it good…now, after all these years!

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