Usually, there is nothing but hum-drum
boredom routine comforting sameness in my world, but lately it seems there are few new things going on.
I’m not saying that these new things are things that your average Joe/Jane wouldn’t find boring, but what I’m saying is that they are new to me. And new to me = exciting. What that says about me, I’ll leave for you to decide.
Though, please don’t tell me what you think it means. Actually, wait no. Do. Tell me. Feel free to therapize me in the comments below. I DARE YOU.
Alright. Story time.
When I was in college in Madison, WI , which has one of the countries best farmers markets in the summertime, I lived with one of those people who loves to cook, in theory. She was always returning from the farmers market with food that I’d never heard of with intentions of making something exotic sounding. (To be clear, at the time anything that didn’t involve macaroni and cheese or Prego spaghetti sauce was considered exotic.)
One morning she returned with this gigantic bulbous thing that was mostly whitish, but had a redish fat end.
A rutabaga. Cousin to the turnip, though I’d never heard of that before either.
The thing about it though? That gigantic thing sat in the crisper drawer for weeks and slowly shriveled up and she never cooked it. Which, as it turns out, and as I only discovered last week, is a damn shame.
Which brings us to….
New produce find: Rutabaga
Much like all other root veggies, rutabaga is slightly sweet, dense, and tastes fantastic roasted and dipped in ketchup or (AND) mustard. I’ve been eating it almost every day since I bought one last week (those suckers are gigantic, I tell you what). Cut into cubes, sticks, or slices, sprinkled with salt and pepper and some oil….perfect.
I have to say, that with my love of the root veggies and cold crops – cabbage, turnips, beets, winter squash, spaghetti squash, ONIONS (oh man, how I love onions) – I am made for living up here in the frozen north. Where vegetables are nearly unheard of in the winter months.
If you haven’t tried them, they are similar in texture to turnips, but with a sweeter flavor. They don’t really taste like parsnips either, which have a sweet, but slightly grassy or earthy flavor. They are….unique.
In the way that being unique is a good thing.
New favorite dinner lately is sauteed cabbage and onions with teriyaki sauce and some kind of meat. I eat that twice a week, probably.
Just to prove to you that I really am made to live up here, this is (not my picture) my go-to dinner base lately. And by lately, I mean for the last 2 months.
I just sautee a crapton of cabbage with a sliced onion, add some sauce and a meat/protein of some sort (lentils, crab, and shrimps are my stand-bys). It is awesome.
To further establish myself as truly weird when it comes to my eating habits, I’ll tell you a secret: I eat the leftovers (if there are any, which isn’t all that often) as breakfast the next morning. Yes, sir.
Full disclosure – it was Chinese 5-Spice Sunflower Seeds butter, but I bet it would be unholy good in any nut butter that trips your trigger (as my mom would say.)
New (2nd) favorite nut butter flavor: Ginger-Cinnamon. Similar to the 5-spice, but sweeter, and a bit less spice. I think a combo of the two would be the best – Super Charged Ginger Chinese 5-spice anyone?
I know I’ve said this before, but it really does bear repeating – if you haven’t made your own nut butter yet, DO IT NOW.
I got a $35 food processor and I use it about once a month to make nut butters. The clean-up is kind of annoying since I don’t have a dishwasher, so I just make a huge batch and it lasts for a month (or however long I can make myself ration it.)
I usually make up really small jars of different flavors by scooping about 1/2 cup from the stash in the fridge and adding whatever spices I want. It keeps them fresh and if they suck, I don’t have to waste much of the precious goods.
What’s new in your life? Have you ever had rutabaga? Have you finally listened to me and started making your own nut butter? Favorite nut butter flavor?