Every childhood Thanksgiving that I can clearly remember involved a terrible something called smashed rutabagas. It was - and is - a family tradition, and my sister and I hated it. But Family Law dictated that we were required to eat at least a bite of smashed rutabagas or we would not get pie. Or grow up to be happy family citizens. Or successful as adults. Probably we would also end up in rehab.
Additionally, at some point during every Thanksgiving dinner, we were assured that when we got old enough to have a choice in the matter of whether we would serve smashed rutabagas or not for Thanksgiving dinner, we would ultimately bow down before the rutabaga tradition and haul out the smashing tools. We would want to smash and feed poor defenseless rutabagas to our own hapless families one day.
Naturally we did not buy this at all.
Bon Appetit has published in their November issue a recipe for smashed rutabagas. They even call it "Smashed Rutabagas". And in the picture, they look like my old nemesis: smashed rutabagas. Except that they include not only ginger-roasted pears and thyme, but also plenty of heavy cream and butter. And you all must know by now that I'm not a big believer in namby-pamby recipes that don't involve plenty of cream and butter. So I'm going to give smashed rutabagas another chance. Or, perhaps more accurately, I'm going to give cream and butter a chance to make rutabagas edible.
We'll see how it goes. Will tradition be reborn? It's probably too early to say. But I will be honoring one other tradition this year for sure: if the Guatemalan doesn't pull down at least one bite dammit of smashed rutabagas this year, he's not getting any pie.