Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Hate Rutabaga!

Ugh! Rutabaga! Ewww!

A sample of our thoughts growing up when our mother would serve rutabaga every winter.

Gag!

Even slathered in butter, we hated rutabaga. My mother loved it, both for its bitterish flavor and for its extremely low cost. She'd get a nice, big, round one, peel it, cut it into cubes and steam it.

Gack!

Inevitably, it would bring on one of those dinner table power struggles where Mom was determined that we would clean our plates and we were equally sure we'd barf if we ate one more bite. These crazy irresistible force/immovable object clashes could go on for hours. Sometimes, she would appear to give up and let us leave the table, but then would serve it to us for breakfast the next morning. To this day, I don't understand what the motivation was.

Anyway, recently I've been revisiting the foods of my childhood that I really detested and trying them again. On second taste, kale turned out to be not so bad. Brussels sprouts have actually become a favorite veggie. So, maybe rutabaga is edible after all?

Rather than steaming an enormous swede that would feed a family of six, I decided to roast three little ones, hoping that the smaller ones would have a milder flavor and that I wouldn't be wasting so much food if they didn't and I decided to ditch the rest. I peeled them, cut them into one inch wedges and roasted them in the same pan with my weekly chicken, tumbled in with some whole shallots and fingerling potatoes.

It was a big chicken and took an hour and a half to roast, so all the veggies got deeply, sweetly caramelized in the chicken juices. There was a tiny bitter tang to the rutabaga wedges but it was not at all the nasty thing I recalled from my childhood. In fact, I'd actually clean my plate without protest this time.

Ack! I'm running out of vegetables to hate!

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9 Comments:

Blogger namastenancy said...

Roasting really does do the trick, doesn't it? Next time - if you want - try roasting the rutabagas with sweet potatoes or yams, peppers, carrots and onions. That's one of my favorite winter/root vegetable combos and if you do it with the roast chicken, you've got one delicious dish. IMHO - as always.

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger namastenancy said...

One more thing - I liked your idea of doing more food blogging. So, while I haven't gone totally over to the dark side (butter, sugar, salt, yummy), I am going to include more of my adventures in cooking. Why not? It would be fun to expand my topics and see if more people come to read and comment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Well, that's one I've never knowingly eaten, much less cooked. I do love the root vegetables, though.
Ever tried kohlrabi? It looks Martian. I haven't had that either.
But if you are running out of despicable vegetables to try, have a Chinese bitter melon. Zank!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: That would be awesome.

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger Kitt said...

I know "they" have done studies about how our taste buds change as we age, so that foods that made us gag as kids actually do taste different when we're adults. Good on you for testing that out!

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Anonymous Jan Nisewaner said...

Still think it is the you WILL eat it of our youth.
Plus mom's cooking was not inspired.

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, yes, I really enjoy roasted anything! And I saw your post today about food and thought, "Yes!"

Cookiecrumb, yes to kohlrabi - weird and, in my view, inedible. I tried the greens of bitter melon and they were, unsurprisingly, quite bitter. Ick.

Kitt, well, perhaps that's the answer for enjoying now all those previously-hated veggies. Thanks!

Jan, my Mom was a pretty good cook, overall, but she did have that power trip going at the dinner table, just like yours. Maybe their upbringing? In any case, it always seemed like a lose/lose proposition to me so puzzling as to why she would keep getting embroiled in them. Guess I will never know.

Sunday, February 20, 2011  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

Neeps! We called them neeps, and I loved them. But then, I loved sprouts as a kiddy too.
Glad to see you're coming around :)

Monday, February 21, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Monday, February 21, 2011  

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