Some people had Candied Yams, smothered in marshmallows and butter, as a special dish on holidays.
We had rutabagas.
I have no idea why rutabagas were considered a holiday treat at our house.
At least half the people I know (outside of my family) would run screaming from the table if a steaming bowl of rutabagas were set before them.
Rutabagas (aka: swedes) aren't a rare or exotic vegetable.
They're a yellow turnip, nothing more.
But, when I was growing up, our Thanksgiving table was not complete without them.
The only time we had them was Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They're not, according to current pundits, a kid-friendly vegetable.
All the kids in my family loved them.
Were they a treat because we only had them twice a year, on holidays?
Was my mother on to something?
The rest of our holiday dinner was traditional: Roast Turkey with Sage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Fruit Salad, fresh dinner rolls warm from the oven and Pumpkin Pie for dessert.
We still have rutabagas on the table at Thanksgiving.
This is my mother's recipe….
Except for the sherry – that's my addition.
2 slices bacon, (1.5oz, 45gr)
1/2 medium onion
1 tbs butter
1 tbs sherry
Peel rutabaga (with a vegetable peeler – like a potato) and cut into pieces about 1/2" X 1/4" – you will need a big knife; it's rather hard. Roughly chop bacon and sauté in a medium sauce pan. When crisp remove and drain all but 1 tbs fat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add rutabaga, 1/2 cup water and bacon. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 – 20 minutes. Test for doneness – taste, should be like a cooked potato. When done, drain any remaining liquid, stir in butter, sherry and serve.
Over the years, in my own kitchen, I've added to and updated our Thanksgiving table.
One of the favorites that I was asked to contribute to our family gatherings are Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes:
Here in France, I've found it easier to find and roast a capon, rather than a turkey, Roast Capon with Port Sauce:
Happy Thanksgiving this weekend to all of my Canadian friends….
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