Green Visions (with Annie Dugan)

Feb 22, 2017

Credit The Food Farm

"Burning agricultural questions"

A Food Farm event at the Zeitgeist.

Ivy Vainio, Askov's Rutabaga Queen.

And a free rutabaga for everyone.

Baby Ellis partying with a rutabaga
Credit Annie Dugan

Here is the promised poem and recipe are reprinted below:

Rutabagas: A Love Poem
by James Silas Rogers

Rutabagas were new to me
when I first paired with Jean.
At Thanksgiving and Easter dinners
her grandpa Frank, her spinster cousin,
mom, dad, and a tribe of handsome
brothers dined in near silence
at a great green table
with fierce griffins underneath.
I would wonder if their quiet
was about secrets or something wrong
but now I think it was
just how they gathered.

Rutabagas were on the table.
I had to ask Jean what they were.
My first mouthful tasted
like something in a gunny sack;
nothing like a wine
from which an epicure, or would-be epicure,
might claim to read the soils
in which the grapes were grown.
She said she loved their dug-up texture,
the hint of dirt
that couldn't be baked away,
how they left the tongue
with a rumor of something
underground and dark.

Autumn vegetables suit her,
I think, and none more than rutabagas,
so reluctant to have left the ground.

"Rutabagas: A Love Poem" by James Silas Rogers, from Sundogs. © Parallel Press, 2006.




This recipe freezes well.

2 large rutabagas (3 ½ pounds)
1.5 cups cream or Half & Half
3 cups dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ tsp pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp salt
Extra bread crumbs and butter for topping

Scrub and peel rutabagas. Cut into large pieces and boil in slightly salted water until soft.

Strain, saving the cooking liquid. Blend the rutabagas. Mix in the cream, bread crumbs, add syrup, beaten egg, and spices to the rutabagas, adding as much of the cooking liquid as need to give a loose soft consistency.

Turn into a greased baking dish and sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs over the top and dot with butter. Bake at 350 for 1 ½ hours.