Tag Archives: rutabagas

Rooting for Rutabagas

RutabagaI decided to eat rutabagas. There are zero logical reasons why. I’ve never knowingly eaten rutabagas before, but I’m all about an adventure. So, armed with a Google search and a shopping list, I set out to inflict rutabaga recipes upon my household for an entire week. All week, all rutabaga. Other evil dictatorships have their tortures; I have rutabagas.

Step One: rutabaga identification. First of all, rutabagas should not be confused with rhubarb. While rhubarb is another vegetable that’s really fun to say, rhubarb looks more like weird reddish purple celery. From what I understand, with half a plantation worth of sugar, you can make it into a pie, and should I decide to do rhubarb week, I’ll test that out. Rutabagas, however, look like turnips grown just downstream from the Chernobyl Nuclear Site. According to Wikipedia, it’s “a root vegetable that originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip.” Thankfully, there were no graphics on how you cross breed turnips and cabbages because I really didn’t want that visual stuck in my mind’s eye. What happens in the vegetable bin stays in the vegetable bin.

Interestingly, I also learned that in Europe rutabagas are commonly used to feed livestock in the winter and are often carved out to make lanterns at Halloween. Therefore, my thinking is that if Bossy the Cow will eat them raw and frozen, then how bad can they be baked and smothered in lots of butter? And if it truly does go way south, I can use the rest for nightlights. At less than a buck a pound, it’s an obvious win-win situation, right?

Rutabaga Night #1: Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga Fries. This is just one more sad attempt to make you think you’re eating French fries when you’re not. Accented with plenty of red wine and ketchup, these were actually pretty good.

Rutabaga Night #2: Baked Garlic and Herb Shoestring Rutabagas. I should have quietly stepped back from this one when it required putting a rock-hard root vegetable through the utensil we got suckered into buying that’s supposed to make zucchinis into spiraled spaghetti things. However, with plenty of red wine, we were able to improvise.

Rutabaga Night #3: Carrots and Rutabagas with Lemon and … Okay, let’s be honest. The rutabaga lanterns are cool. And the red wine was great with the pizza we ordered.

(Thanks to Hutchins Farm for the pic of Frank, the over-sized rutabaga)

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What’s scarier than the Middle East?

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People who aren’t familiar with Saudi Arabia often ask me if I’m afraid to be here, if it’s not scary living in the Middle East. It’s not any scarier than being outside the Toyota Center in downtown Houston after a really bad Rockets’ game. So, no, I’m not afraid of living here. There are bigger things to be afraid of, even beyond the standards like poisonous snakes, zombies, non-poisonous snakes and overdraft charges.

I recently found out that my high school English teacher reads my column every week (online at http://www.TheSourceWeekly.com). There are few things that strike more terror in the heart of writer like me than that! I’m one big, bumbling, improperly punctuated run-on sentence fragment after another! All this time I’ve held the belief that my tens of readers never venture past the first couple of sentences before skipping over to the used car ads further back in the paper.

Now I lay awake at night knowing that there is a perfectly wonderful, retired educator out there banging her head on a table wondering where, oh where, did she go so terribly wrong! (My sincerest apologies, Miss Darling, but if I’d pursued something with numbers, like accounting, we’d have countless former math teachers on suicide watch. You understand, right?)

You know what else is scary? Snuggie blankets are scary. What kind of mind control has this company used to convince so many Americans to crawl into a fuzzy body bag that looks like a human cocoon with sleeves rather than just turning the thermostat up a couple of degrees? What if there’s a fire or you have a heart attack while wearing your snuggie? I’d be terrified to have emergency response personnel charge into my house to find me half dead in a snuggie.

Multiply that snuggie fear factor by 40 because they have snuggies for dogs, too. Making your dog wear a snuggie is an abuse prohibited under the Geneva Convention on Prisoner’s Rights. Let me be the voice for those who cannot speak: Take the snuggie off the dog.

Personally, I think drawn on eyebrows are scary in an unnaturally surprised kind of way. Pit bulls are scary; I don’t care what anyone says about them having bad press. Rutabagas are scary, because what are they really and who eats them? With all of these real fears out there, who has time to worry about the Middle East?

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