Saturday, October 28, 2006

evening light and dinner

I just had to run out and take this photo as the evening light lingered across the swamp. And as I was doing so I thought "Damn! I'm lucky to be able to live here."
I'm lucky to enjoy some pretty good meals too. Today The Hermit had some lumber shopping to do at Menards in Duluth, and he called me on the way home to say he had picked up some steaks for dinner. Inch thick ribeyes. Mmmmm... We're getting a quarter of local grass-fed beef in a month, but our craving for steak could not wait.

So I thought about a side dish. Rice...done that last night. Potatoes...had them for breakfast. It was then I noticed the bin of rutabagas and the few parsnips, already starting to shrivel. I guess I have been suffering from Rutabagaphobia: the fear of cooking a vegetable with which you have no experience. I thought it would taste so bad I could not eat it, or that if I could eat it of course the kids would not. What was I thinking?

I went online and found, among the usual bland recipes for mashed, pureed rutabaga, one for rutabaga with caramelized onions. If I'm going to go down, culinarily speaking, at least I'm going to go down fighting. So in the above picture, lower left you see a skillet of onions (from the garden) on their way to caramelization, and, upper right, a pot of boiling rutabagas, along with the parsnips.

To make a long story short, I was impressed. I liked the earthy, nutty flavor the rutabagas had to offer, and they were wonderful along with the onions, salt, pepper, lots of butter, and a pinch of nutmeg and curry.

It's a good thing, because I have a whole bin of rutabagas to go, including the gigantic one I described earlier.

Oh yeah, if the steak and rutabagas weren't enough, we had sauteed mushrooms and onions, and fresh Swedish rye bread from the bread machine. I'm on a heritage kick lately; Swedish bread, Swedish music, I guess even rutabagas are a Swedish thing. Anyway, God natt.


Roger Bourland said...

Well, check out some Ingmar Bergman films and you will be really onto something!

Anonymous said...

I've never really liked parsnips or rutabagas, but I guess I'll have to give them a try again. You really can't go wrong with caramelized onions!

Beautiful picture!

pablo said...

I've eaten turnips, and while they're not bad, I've not rushed back to the grocery to get more recently. But you make your food sound so tempting, I think I may start branching out.

Anonymous said...


If you get the time I'd love to have that recipe for caramelized rutabagas, Deb.

I can't remember if I've ever had them and I don't like the fact that there's a food in the world which I don't have a close relationship with.


Floridacracker said...

Can I pretend that pan holds hash browns and not rutabagas?
Great picture of the evening light and the steaks sound great.

Deb said...

Roger B- welcome! I'm not much of a movie buff but I'll have to check out Bergman some time.

sue- thanks! I only just recently discovered the joys of caramelized onions.

pablo- I probably wouldn't rush out to the grocery store for rutabagas, but now that I've found they grow well here I might as well enjoy them.

jim- I have the recipe bookmarked on the computer at home, so I'll post it tonight.

FC- The rule of the table is, you have to try one bite and see if you like it! Thanks on the pic and yes, the steaks were delicious. Leftovers are in my lunch today.

Deb said...

Jim- here's the link to the recipe: Or if my HTML doesn't work which I'm sure it won't, copy and paste. It's basically rutabagas, cubed and boiled until tender, then added to the onions, which you've sauteed in butter for a long time until they turn brown.