October 22, 2009 at 8:00 a.m.

The forgotten veggie: rutabagas

The forgotten veggie: rutabagas
The forgotten veggie: rutabagas

I don't think I've ever given you recipes for this veggie. I remember eating rutabagas when I was growing up on the farm. Some generations ago, everyone raised rutabagas. Large piles of them were stored in cool, dark cellars each fall, right along with potatoes, cabbages, squash, and pumpkins. They were a part of the supper meal at least once a week. Mom fixed them several ways, as in vegetable soup, which was given. She mashed them with potatoes, cut them in squares and cooked them, then tossed them in butter (who ever heard of margarine back then), mixed them with other veggies as a side dish, sliced them and made a casserole, along with potatoes, in a cream sauce, as you would make scalloped potatoes and cut them in sticks to be eaten raw. And so, we are rutabagas, whether we liked them or not, and we aren't Swedish. The Swede's especially like them. Heads up Swedes in the area. It's name comes from the Swedish word "Rotabagge." And in some areas of Sweden, rutabagas are called "Swedes" or Swede Turnips." But I'm sure you know that!

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Of course, it's rutabagas today.

RUTABAGA-POTATO

CASSEROLE

2 medium potatoes, peeled

2 medium rutabagas, peeled

1/2 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper, or to taste

4 eggs, well beaten

1/4 c. each, milk and melted butter

Cover veggies with cold water after peeling. In a bowl, combine next 4 ingredients. In another bowl, blend half of the dry ingredients with eggs; stir in milk and butter. Drain veggies; grate them into a large bowl. With a large spoon, mix rest of dry ingredients with veggies. Work quickly so potatoes don't darken. Put mixture in a buttered 1 qt. casserole dish. Set in pan of hot water with level at least 2/3 of the height of the casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Makes 6 servings.

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MASHED RUTABAGAS AND POTATOES

4 c. (2 lb.) peeled, sliced rutabagas

4 c. (3 medium), peeled, cubed potatoes

1 t. salt

1 T. sugar

1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 t. granules

2 c. boiling water

1/4 t. pepper

1 c. grated Cheddar cheese

2 t. minced onion

In a saucepan combine rutabagas, potatoes, salt and sugar. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water and pour over veggies. Quickly bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain, mash add pepper, cheese and onion. Beat until fluffy, using a hand mixer.

Makes 6 servings.

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RUTABAGAS IN

SOUR CREAM

4 c. cubed rutabaga

1/4 t. salt

Dash pepper

1 medium onion, sliced

2 T. butter or margarine

1 c. sour cream

1/2 t. dill or caraway seed

Cook rutabaga in boiling water, just to barely cover, until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain well. Sprinkle with pepper. Saute onion in butter until tender but not browned. Combine onions and sour cream in a bowl; pour over rutabaga. Sprinkle with dill or caraway.

Makes 5-6 servings.

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How about feeding the sweet tooth with...

CHEWY CHOCOLATE SQUARES

1 c. flour

1/4 c. sifted powdered sugar

1/2 c. butter or margarine (not spread)

Topping:

1/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1-small pkg. chocolate pudding and pie filling (not instant pudding)

1/2 t. baking powder

2/3 c. evaporated milk

1-2/3 c. flaked coconut

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/2 c. raisins

Combine flour and powdered sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbs form, using a pastry blender. Mix until mixture holds together, using hands (wash first please.) Press mixture into ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack. Prepare topping.

Combine sugar and egg in medium bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, using an electric beater on medium speed. Stir in pudding mix, baking powder and evaporated milk. Add last 3 ingredients; mix well. Pour over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set. Cool on rack. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Makes 16 squares.

TFD: One thing worse than being a quitter is being afraid to make a start.

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