Ode to a Rutabaga

My friend, Diane, shared Mary Oliver’s poem on the wonder of snails in a salt marsh giving me the courage to pen an ode to the simple rutabaga. Even a lowly root vegetable can be an object of praise. During this season of harvest, as the gardens are put to rest, and we gather the thick skinned gourds that can be stored well into winter, it seems fitting to celebrate Nature’s bounty.

Deserving of your
distinguished name.
Awarded the more lofty 
moniker of rutabaga
rather than simply
dubbed a yellow turnip.
Your gnarled outer coat
shrouds an even
interior without
a hint of harshness
or bitterness.
Peeled, chopped.
and boiled,
your flesh becomes
smooth and mellow.
Even more blissful
when combined
with potatoes.
Versatile root.
You shine when
added to stew;
simmered in soup,
or sliced in a gratin.
You may not be
as sleek as a
butternut squash,
or as decorative
as your acorn cousin,
but you are more
than equal in flavor.


About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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2 Responses to Ode to a Rutabaga

  1. JoAnn says:

    Have never tasted a rutabaga. Now I must!

  2. Diane says:

    I have never tasted a rutabaga either! I will certainly experiment! (Love the Ode!)

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