So nobody likes Rutabagas….
It was generally acknowledged that Sendaria was to be made fun of for growing rutabagas despite the fact that it made better cattle feed than ordinary turnips, the tops might be cooked and eaten like cabbage and it stored well over the winter.
It has to be said that most of the people who declared a dislike of rutabagas had either never had any – the majority – or had been subjected to boiled chunks that had been indifferently drained.
The latter was the reason for King Kheva's dislike of rutabaga, a fact that was made quietly but abundantly clear when he made a state visit to Sendaria when he was fourteen.
Other, substitute, vegetables were found to satisfy His Majesty's needs to accompany his meat; and nothing was said of his prejudice.
Breakfasting with King Fulrach and Queen Layla meant helping oneself to the variety of foods laid out; porridge, slices of bacon, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, fried or toasted bread, fried kidneys, fried egg and some delicious looking golden brown cakes that Fulrach helped himself to three of with his bacon and fried egg.
"What are those please?" asked Kheva.
"Vegetable cakes dear" said Queen Layla. "Would you like to try a little of one of mine?"
"Mmmm!" he said "Delicious!" and promptly helped himself to two, with all the trimmings because he was a growing lad.
He did not help himself to porridge. He had other food prejudices too, mostly fostered by his disreputable cousin Silk; and the Lady Polgara was not on hand to insist that he ate some.
"I should like to congratulate the cook and ask for a recipe for those excellent vegetable cakes to be sent to my own cook" he said after breakfast.
The king and queen of Sendaria exchanged a look and laughed.
"Well Kheva I can tell you how to make them" said Layla "First you boil rutabaga chunks long enough for it to mash conveniently – about half an hour – then you mash it with plenty of butter, your choice of either black pepper or grated horseradish, and some finely chopped onion. Shape it into cakes and cook it in the oven until brown on both sides. You can add left over cabbage to it as well. We in Sendaria never waste left overs you see and this was originally just a way of using up excess."
Kheva stared open mouthed.
"You mean I just ate RUTABAGA?"
"And appeared to enjoy it" said Fulrach dryly.
"Then I guess there must be ways of cooking rutabaga that make it palatable" he said. "I shall order the growing of a royal plot of rutabagas in Drasnia and have such wonderful breakfasts every day!"
A/N I get irritated by David Eddings' food prejudices; he doesn't like mutton, goat or swede, which is what we call rutabagas in England and he hasn't much time for pork either. All of which leads me to suppose neither his mother nor his wife learned how to cook properly.
It's best to make these cakes which can include half and half potato with the swede in some kind of greased muffin tin. If you add cabbage it's called bubble and squeak though that's traditionally fried and served in a loose mass under fried egg. I generally add a pinch of ground green cardamom powder too.
Swede and potato mashed together with oodles of butter, and if you wish a touch of horseradish or black pepper is a great accompaniment to many dishes. The Scots call this 'neeps and tatties'. I cook more than enough of this to have some over to make veggie cakes.
Many savoury recipes I have seen calling for pumpkin I would use swede for.
I also eat chunks raw when cutting off the thick rind. This is slightly eccentric.