Monday, February 22, 2010

This morning I roasted the root I harvested on Friday and ate it with a shirred egg. Sadly, it will be the last rutabaga of the season.

The February warm patch has hung in the Willamette Valley for a week now. Sunny high skies, lower 60 degree days and cold nights. The winter garden is readying its reproductive responsibilities.

For months the rutabaga has been tender, sweet and full of flavor. A month ago it was perfect but not any more. The coarser flesh and diminished flavor had me reaching for more salt and fat with the hope that the cold weather rutabaga would represent itself on my plate. It wouldn't and it couldn't.

Funny how I am sad to see it go. Usually, I am ready to move on after cooking, preserving and eating seasonal fruits and vegetables. By the end of a production cycle, I am looking forward to the arrival of next crops. Whether an environmental shift or a dietary one, I am ready for the season to change. But this year I have not had nearly enough rutabaga. I am glad there is a half gallon of Sauer- rutabaga in my refrigerator to keep me satisfied until November comes around again.