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.
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.
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.