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Thanksgiving Vegetables: Greens or Rutabaga

As I am planning our Thanksgiving meal, I have been contemplating what type of vegetables I will serve.  I think the vegetables on this special day are overshadowed with the Turkey, Dressing, Yams and of course, dessert.  I do want to keep with the Southern traditions this year and I have decided that I will prepare rutabaga and probably collard greens. When thinking of a great source for these vegetables prepared the Southern way, I immediately thought of the Favorite Recipes from Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House Cookbook from Savannah, Georgia. I love visiting her restaurant and the vegetables are superb.  They are prepared in the Southern style but they aren’t greasy or mushy.  They always have a wonderful flavor.

I will probably use Mrs. Wilkes rutabaga recipe and the most difficult part of preparing the vegetable is the difficulty in peeling and cutting them. Mrs. Wilkes includes a small amount of sugar in her recipe for cooked rutabaga and I always thought her version was so good and never bitter and that is probably the reason for that.

Mrs wilkes rutabaga

Until I read the above recipe in Mrs. Wilkes cookbook, I had never heard rutabaga referred to as Northern turnips.  I will tell you that I absolutely love the flavor and taste of turnips too.

Below is Mrs. Wilkes version of cooked greens. She refers to turnip greens in the recipe but has a note that you would prepare collard or mustard greens the same way.  She includes a piece of salt pork in her recipe and I remember my mother would fry the salt pork and use the drippings from it in her greens.  I will probably use frozen collard greens and the pict-sweet brand is my favorite.  I actually cook my greens and drain them and add a small amount of olive oil to my collards.  I don’t think my Southern ancestors would agree with that choice but we like them that way.

Mrs wilkes greens


I can imagine that many Southern tables will include Broccoli with cheese sauce or even asparagus as part of their meal.  Of course, to be perfectly honest, I hope you realize that in the South Macaroni and Cheese is considered a vegetable.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by.

2 responses »

  1. I grew up in the north so we didn’t serve Marconi with Thanksgiving dinner. That was a week day meal not a special occasion thing. I was told that it was a must after I moved south. LOL. I still don’t and would rather have a vegetable dish.


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