Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Turkeys and Rutabaga


I think every one remembers the first Thanksgiving turkey that they prepared. In my case, I was unaware that turkey giblets were to be found in a small bag located in the turkey’s neck area. Go figure! Isn’t that just where one might look to find a turkey’s heart and liver? Had my mother not clued me in on the location of the giblets, they would have been roasted bag and all! Fortunately for all, she did and my roast turkey was a success.

Today I wished my mother’s cousin, Joyce Tudyman, a Happy Thanksgiving. She will spend the holiday with relatives who are of Italian descent. They will be serving pasta along with their turkey. She mentioned that she was happy to be invited, but will miss the traditional English Thanksgiving dinner complete with rutabaga.

So that is how the rutabaga tradition came to my family! I always had a hunch that this rutabaga tradition hailed from my only English ancestors, John and Emma Dollen. My mother would simply peel and cube the rutabaga and simmer until soft. She would then mash it. I have updated her tried and true recipe by adding some butter, half and half, and a pinch of nutmeg! You either like this root veggie or you don’t!

So, all you Thanksgiving chefs, what was your first turkey experience like? What happened to you? I look forward to hearing your stories!

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