Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the third day she ate... Rutabagas!

Yesterday I was collecting pictures of rutabagas to use as reference for this painting and I had to go out and get one for dinner because they are so yummy!

Maybe I am not very observant with my taste buds, but I never realized that they taste kind of like turnips until I saw in the SESE catalog that they are also called Swedish Turnips. Then, of course, it clicked. So I did a little rutabaga research online and discovered that it was originally a cross between a cabbage and turnip. They're called Swedish turnips because, as it says on Wikipedia, "The first known printed reference to the rutabaga comes from the Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin in 1620, where he notes that it was growing wild in Sweden." It also says that "rutabaga is the common American and Canadian term for the plant. It comes from the old Swedish word Rotabagge, meaning simply "root bag". "Swede" is the preferred term used in England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the world that use British English as a standard." I love these tasty swedes... Anyway, rutabaga always makes me think of Thanksgiving and Christmas because we would always have it mashed as one of the sides. And it also makes me think of my mom preparing it by chopping it up with this huge, heavy clever made by my grandpa. Those are some tough root bags!

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