The Rutabaga Report

Two nights ago, I made the rutabaga.

And this is how it went:

rutabaga editedI started about two hours and fifteen minutes before I wanted to eat dinner. Everyone says it’s really hard to peel and chop. The girls sat across from me coloring on the small counter where they could still see what was happening. Thankfully, the ordeal kept them entertained the whole time.

Peeling wasn’t actually so hard; it took me twelve minutes. And I’m sure I didn’t use the right kind of knife.

Chopping? Took forty-five minutes. Again, not with a good knife or skilled knife-user. I could never get a big enough chunk off to really chop, so it was just a glorified peeling of the whole thing. I would see a little piece sticking out and cut that off. Turn it and find another place sticking out. It got faster as I went, but my first finger was completely numb by the time I was finished. (not recommended for pianists)

But the good news was, it cooked just fine in all of it’s odd shapes and non-chunkiness.

I added three chopped potatoes to the pot and covered it all in water.

After salting it generously, I let it boil for around thirty minutes. It was definitely tender.

So I drained it and threw a stick of butter in to let it melt. (When I say butter, I actually mean Blue Bonnet. Whatever kind of imitation butter that is.)

I warmed up a cup of half-and-half for a minute on 50% power in the microwave. Added that, more salt, pepper, and a little bacon grease.

Then I ate all the bacon that I had cooked as a reward for all my hard work.

After that, you know the drill… mash it, or beat it until it’s nice and fluffy.


Sophia and Paul loved it.

Hope, Gracie, Mckayla and I tolerated it.

Rutabaga tastes a little bit like turnips to me. (Bleck: turnips are definitely the least favorite properly prepared thing I’ve ever put in my mouth!) However, these really weren’t bad! I passed them up for leftovers this afternoon, but had no problem eating them when they were fresh.

Hope’s reaction cracked me up. (Since it was her idea to buy a rutabaga anyway.) Trying to be polite, when I asked her if she liked it she said, “Well, not nes-arily. I mean it’s not like as bad as asparagus, but it’s not as good as peas and chicken. You know, I mean, like it’s okay. I can eat it.”

If I make it again, I’ll probably add more potatoes. A lot of recipes I looked at said to make the potato/rutabaga ratio equal.

The two recipes I referenced can be found here and here.

Here are the pictures I got.

The in not-so-beauty shot.

IMG_2482The wannabe beauty shot.

IMG_2490And the kids meal version.

IMG_2499What do you think about rutabagas?


What the fly on the wall heard

photo credit
photo credit

Good morning!

Here are a few funny things that were heard around here this week ~ hope you enjoy!


This morning, Gracie got out of bed a little earlier than I wanted to. So after taking her to the restroom, I brought her in bed with me. One of my favorite things to do with the girls is to ask, “What is your favorite…?”

“Gracie, what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?”

“Strawberries and eggs.” No surprise there; she’s said that before.

“What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?”

“Macawoni and cheese.” Again, completely normal two-year old answer.

“What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner?”

“Pizza.” I quite agree.

“Gracie, what is your favorite thing to eat for a snack?”




We were driving home from eating dinner out this week when Gracie interrupted the conversation to complain…

“Mommy, I’m hungry!”

I reasoned with her, “You can’t be hungry, Gracie. We just ate.”

“I’m hungry from the talking!”


And the grand finale (in my mind). = )

Hope and Sophia were cleaning up their papers and crayons after coloring one afternoon. Sophia held up two cut-out figures that closely resembled a man and woman for me to see.

“Wow, Sophia, those are great. Who are they?” I asked.

Her voice became very excited as she held up the woman who I could now see had a beautifully colored dress, “This is Aunt Laurie at her wedding!!!”

“Oh wow!” I said.

She held up the rather long, skinny figure of a man, “And this is Uncle Aaron. He was so excited he turned into a microphone!!!”

Only Sophia. = )

Gracie’s stages: Whasfodinnuh?

Sweet baby Gracie
Sweet baby Gracie

It’s time for the next installment of Gracie’s stages!! And it is a good one!

This stage was definitely my sister’s favorite ever. It got to the point where she would text me every morning saying, “Did she say it?” But I give too much away.

We love two-year old’s around here!! I think it’s my favorite age. You can read about why here. After that post, I started writing down all of Gracie’s fun two-year old stages. You can read about some of those here and here.

A little background before I dive in to the story of this stage. Gracie lost weight from the age of six to nine months (I really took that hard) and it was a while before she got back to where she needed to be.

But now?

She’s definitely making up for lost time.

Plainly stated… the child LOVES to eat. And I’m so thankful every time I look at her chubby little body.

At some point this fall, she realized that I pretty much knew what I was going to make for dinner that night; and that if she asked me I would share that information with her. (The other girls will frequently ask about the dinner plan at some point during the day)

Gracie began to ask me, “Mommy, whasfodinnuh?”

And I would reply with whatever the choice was for that night.

To which she would reply, “Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face.

It was great. But it got even greater.

That question became literally the first thing she said to me every morning! For at least a month, probably longer!

I’d walk into her room in the morning, “Good morning, Gracie! How are you?”

She’d stand up (always with the most hideous case of bedhead you’ve ever seen), rub her sleepy eyes and say in a soft, morning voice, “Mommy, whasfodinnuh?”

And I would reply, and she would say, “Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face.

Every. single. morning.

(See how I just. did. that.? It’s a very bloggy thing to do.)

Even though she had already asked first thing in the morning, she would still ask six or seven times during the day. Just randomly walk up to me and say, “Mommy, whasfodinnuh?”

And I would reply and she would say, “Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face.

Didn’t matter what it was. Spaghetti? Tilapia? Chicken and dumplins? Breakfast?

“Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face.

Of course, I would tell Laurie about this during our daily phone conversations; so she began texting me in the morning, “Did she say it?”

It was her idea for me to ask Gracie, “What do you want for dinner?” Awesome idea. “I’ll try it tomorrow!”

So the next morning after “Mommy, whasfodinnuh?” and my reply and “Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face; I asked:

“What do you want for dinner, Gracie”

“Chicken and dumplins!”

She said that for at least a week; but after she said it, I would tell her what we were actually having and she would say…

“Oooo!!!!” with a very excited, happy look on her face.

I love that girl.

What the fly on the wall heard

Welcome to “What the fly on the wall heard”! This is where I keep track of all the silly things said around here as we go through our life with four girls five and under.

Sophia quickly shoved a bunch of newly picked grass in my hand so she could run down the sidewalk as we were on our way home from playing outside, “Mom, can you hold these for me? It’s my fresh garlic!”


This afternoon at lunch, Paul and I were conversing about ranching life, how it’s dusk to dawn, day in and day out; how there’s so much work to be done; how it must help people to avoid the pitfalls of idleness to be so busy…

Sophia chimed in (with very excited tones), “And because they live on a farm, they don’t even have to stop to eat breakfast if they’re really busy; they can just go to work, grab one of the animals, kill it and eat it!!”

Gracie had a little something to add, “And they probably get a kitty-cat, and they’d kill it and eat it, and then put it inside the fence. And that makes perfect sense.”

I’m not lying! That’s what she said!

So just to review, they’d kill a cat, eat it, and put it inside a fence. All that would make perfect sense.

Got that?

Gracie’s plan for the day

DSC00976A couple mornings ago, Paul was holding Gracie on his lap talking with her before he went to work.

“Gracie, what are you going to do today?” he asked.

“Eat breakthast.”

“Then what are you going to do?”

“Eat lunch.”

“What are you going to do after that?”

“Eat dinnuh.”

Well, sounds like a plan.

Homemade salad dressing out of WHAT???

Let’s suffice it to say, this post will not be categorized in forgettable memories.

If only he knew
If only he knew

Just a couple of months after being married, we were invited to an older couple’s home for golf and dinner. Golf for the guys and hanging out in the kitchen for the girls. She prepared this fabulous meal as I watched and helped, trying to soak up everything I could learn. At one point she made this homemade salad dressing; just pulled a few things out of the cupboard and fridge and voila! a delicious dressing. I was amazed. Well, the meal was lovely, and I was inspired to become a culinary diva who could whip up my own salad dressing and make it look so easy. Because, honestly, you have to be a culinary diva to do that, right?

home sweet home
home sweet home

Fast forward a month or so. It was late morning and Paul was coming home soon for lunch. I had prepared some kind of sandwiches??? I think??? and had also decided to make a little salad in some bowls to go along with it and be kind of special. Aww…so sweet. Well, I realized that all I had was lettuce; and I was kind of suspicious whether it even was lettuce. I remember buying it at the store and thinking “is this really it?” Okay, I knew what lettuce was; we had plenty of that growing up; I just had never been the one to pick it out and yeah…I bought cabbage. So I’m ripping off these “lettuce” leaves into the bowls thinking…this is cabbageno, it’s lettuceuh, I don’t think sowell, it’s all I have so we’ll just go with it. ***Ninety-nine percent of the time a “just go with it” mindset is great(!), but not always.*** And definitely not when it comes to substituting raw cabbage in a salad for lettuce.

But, I stray from the real story: the salad dressing. Looking at my bowls filled only with some sort of green shredded something, I realized, this is pathetic! I don’t even have any salad dressing! Lightbulb!!! I could make one the way my friend did!

A quick glance through my cupboards and I knew I was going to have to get creative. Genius that I was, I dumped a raspberry crystal light packet it into a bowl, added some olive oil, salt and pepper, and stirred it around. (Yeah, the little packets that you mix with a whole gallon of water to make lemonade. Like I said, genius!) Hmm…it didn’t look as delicious as the one my friend made. Yikes, it didn’t taste like it either! But, sometimes, you just have to go with it. ***No you don’t!!!!*** So I drizzled it over our ridiculous bowls of “salad” and hoped for the best.

Do I have to write the rest of this? Well, the mix and olive oil separated and became all at once slimy and gritty. Our cabbage became a bright hot pink color. The taste was…atrocious, or was that the raw cabbage?

A failure in every sense of the word. My husband was actually really nice; I mean, he laughed at me, but who wouldn’t? That was probably one of the moments where he began to realize what he had gotten himself into.

We definitely bought a whopping bottle of amazing store-bought ranch on the next grocery run. And the cabbage ended up in the trash.

My superhero who has survived it all
My superhero who has survived it all

Since then, I’ve come a loooong way. It’s amazing what scrutinizing cookbooks, asking questions, experimenting and making mess after mess, and reading on the internet can do. Have I mentioned my husband is patient? There’s still a loooong way to go; I get nervous if other people are at my house watching me in the kitchen, but whatever, one of these days maybe I’ll get over it.

Want to make me feel better by sharing your first food flop?