Monday, October 28, 2013

"Moore" is Better: A Small Tribute

She can be an emotional sap but it's passion that drivers her every thought:  true Otherworldly love for a child, unfathomable loyalty and devotion to family and friends, and ambition to affect excellence where mediocracy (the system ruling mediocrity) exists.

That's Chef Instructor Moore on the left;
Mrs. Gloria Newell, aka Mama Newell, on the right.

I was blessed to witness all manners of passion from the petite red head this past week, from anger over improperly stored produce to dealing with last minute changes.  She handled them all.

She's ever mindful of the quality of the program and the safety and well-being of all her students, not to mention the health of the public.  And! If a student truly desires to know more than offered in the program, she can handle that as well.

One of the happiest days of my culinary education...

I often feel the need to mother her, to nurture the head of the department as one of my own, she's just that endearing, often having to give myself a good mental shaking to keep from putting a ribbon in her hair.  She's strong enough without my encouragement; she does have a mother already, although it doesn't stop the occasional text from being sent.  Sometimes, this gray matter forgets that she's not a peer, that I am not her equal in culinary skills.

She's beating the butter down for puff pastry:  NOT
a skill I'm finding necessary to master, given the availability
of it everywhere, even at the Pig...

Chef Instructor Moore has a tough job, keeping all of us in line while teaching the finer points of culinary arts in the hospitality industry.  It's not a position I'd ever desire but I'm thankful she has it, merely grateful to have her presence in this life.  Sometimes being in the lead position isn't the most popular, but she's leading us forward (sometimes kicking and screaming) to excellence, making the Jones County Junior College Culinary Arts Technology program the place to be in the South for a remarkable education.

And she's also very generous with praise when we've
deserved it!

Her program consistently produces graduates ready for whatever commercial kitchen or front of the house position or, like myself, cakery institution they've a mind to work in, sufficiently schooled by the mind and sometimes emotionally sappy spirit of the petite red head I'm fortunate to call Chef Moore.  Thank you, ma'am, for being here!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Elephants In the Kudzu

Take a drive anywhere through the South in the summer and you'll become aware of mile after mile of a vine imported by the highway department in the early 1900's to control erosion of the roadways.  It's called kudzu and, like the water hyacinths in Louisiana, is a plant in need of controlling.  Besides being invasive, another unpleasant fact or two about it is that snakes absolutely love (if snakes could love anything {besides existing merely to keep my phobia of them intact}) hiding in its dense cover.  Cows enjoy munching on the new growth and while it's a great source of nutrition for them, it makes their milk bitter and unpalatable.

Years ago, seemingly in another lifetime, when The Happy Family lived in Oxford, Mississippi, a food article in the Oxford Eagle touted a jelly made from kudzu blossoms to be the most flavorful ever to be contrived in the South.  I'd have to put on hip waders and carry several firearms to harvest five gallons of blossoms for a single batch of jelly but that's neither here nor there.  The article held one key phrase  never forgotten: elephants in the kudzu.

It doesn't take much of a vivid imagination to notice them.  I've seen all manners of elephants ever since;  babies, juveniles, adults;  some with vine trunks raised to the tops of trees;  others walking single file, trunk to tail.

Mostly they're lumbering through the heat and humidity, as if trying to grow their way back home to Asia. Herds of them exist around every curve, up and down hills, hiding in ravines.  They trudge their way to the road, growing offspring along the way.

It is a deceptively slow march they make but if you're watching, progress can be seen on a weekly basis. Their strength is in numbers.  The South is inundated with forests of the verdant pachyderms.

Sometimes I even think I hear their trumpeting calls, communicating to the herd over the hill, "We're almost there!"  Bless their hearts.  I hope they take the snakes with them when they grow home...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mama's (very large) Pecan Pie. 'Nuff said...

Last week I had an order for a pecan pie for an almost-family friend.  The recipient is the sister to a sister-in-law.  It was her birthday and she didn't want any sort of cake so her sweet spouse took it upon himself to order her favorite dessert:  pecan pie.

Like any child of the Deep South, there's only one pecan pie recipe to make.  Mama's.  She's made it for as long as I can remember, and indeed, the recipe is older than I am, being jotted down several years before I was born.

Favorite Child, aka Brother #4, was born in 1955, after almost a week of labor, some of it spent in traction from a slipped cervical disk (I'm so thankful he wasn't a girl or else I wouldn't be here tonight writing to you). It took a little while for her to recover from the birthing process, having had four sons in nine years time. Brother #4 was born in late summer and she was taking a noon-time rest, watching the news on WKRG out of Mobile, Alabama while waiting on As the World Turns and The Guiding Light to come on.  WKRG still has a local chef/cook come into the studio at noon, the same as the station did back in 1955.

Mama says that it was getting on closer to Thanksgiving after Brother #4 was born when WKRG premiered this pecan pie recipe.  She grabbed pencil and paper and wrote down the ingredients, much like I wrote them down some twenty years ago.

This recipe makes a deep dish ten inch pecan pie or two eight inch pies.  You'll notice there isn't a set amount of pecans -- that's entirely up to user discretion!

Here's what you do:

Beat five eggs until foamy and lemon-y in color.

Slowly add one cup sugar until well mixed.

Add one cup white corn syrup.

I can't tell ONE bit of difference between Karo brand
corn syrup and generic corn syrup.  Save your
dollars for something important like mayonnaise.

Add five tablespoons of melted butter.

Add vanilla.
I love using the little medicine dispenser cups for flavorings.
They have accurate measurements right on the cup
and are a whole lot of handy!

Pour into prepared unbaked crusts with desired amounts of pecans.
The fancy one on the left was for the client.  The ugly one on the right
was for fambly.  We like our pies with chopped pecans.  Whole halves
(if that makes any sense) are pretty in a pie, but won't cut worth a flip.
AND someone always eats out the center pecan within moments of coming 
out of the oven.  Sad, but true.  Sometimes that someone is me.
Use as many or as little pecans as you want here.  I used one a half cups
in the big pie and only a cup in the little one.

I like to put the pies on baking sheets to go into a 350 F. preheated oven.  They almost never cook over on a sheet.  Just let one go into the oven without a sheet, though.  That's one awful mess to clean up.

Bake until the center is set, anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.  


Here are the ingredients again for one deep dish ten inch pecan pie or two thinner eight inch pies:

One or two unbaked pie crusts
Five eggs
One cup sugar
One cup white corn syrup
Five tablespoons melted butter
One teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt (I omit this, using salted butter)

Put it together like I did and you're sure to have deliciousness in an hour!

Y'all enjoy. 

<3 Mary

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Things They Don't Teach In Culinary Arts

I learned so many things the spring semester as a student in the culinary arts department at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi.  I've discovered just this evening, though, that there are a lot of things that weren't learned;  common, every day things that should've been part of some curriculum but weren't.

For instance, one box of pickling cucumbers from Eubanks Produce/Charlie's U Pick will yield 21 pounds of sliced cucumbers (minus the ones held out for eating).

That's enough sliced cucumbers for one making of
14 day sweet pickles and one making of lime sweet pickles.

One very large cabbage yields a little over ten quarts of coarsely chopped cabbage
Ten quarts of cabbage is enough for 2.5 makings of
picalilli, per the Ball Blue Book of Canning.

Five large green tomatoes yield two quarts of diced tomatoes.
A dough scraper is a very handy tool in the kitchen!  
Not only does it make icing on cakes very smooth,
it also doubles as a diced-vegetable picker-upper.

Dicing six quarts of green tomatoes goes a lot quicker if the little rounded bits are diced separately and individually.

 My largest pot is not large enough for 2.5 batches of diced vegetables for picalilli.

A nicely scrubbed ice chest is large enough for 2.5 batches of vegetables for picalilli.

I took the lid off, covered the veggies with plastic wrap, 
and have it in the big cooler on the back porch to be dealt with tomorrow.

And lastly, but certainly not least:  One perfectly ripened cantaloupe can entirely disrupt an afternoon, if consumed over the course of the day

But it was so worth it...

And that's it for the time being.  If anything more is discovered that needs to be covered during kitchen lab for any given course, I'll come back to pass on the education.

Y'all have a good one!

<3 Mary

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Part Two: Why I Don't Work On Sundays

I told myself "You're not actually working.  Think of it as maintenance."  The words of childhood came back "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work."

"But!" I contended, "I'm not making any money off it so technically, it isn't labor."

The time schedule is tight this week;  the game plan needed expediting.  A mindful decision to weed eat on the Sabbath was made, despite a soulful argument not to.

I knew better...  Yes, Sir, Lord.
I get the message.  Thank You
for the rock and the day of rest.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Only Thing to Fear...

Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his 1933 Inaugural address said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself."  He was facing a presidential term with an America in the throes of Depression, its people lacking faith in the government to turn things around.  It seemed an impossible task, but he did it.

This morning I did the impossible.  Wwwwell... It wasn't really the impossible;  more like the very personally difficult.  I asked for help.  And because I asked, help was received.

It's a big thing, this asking for help.  I like to believe I've been blessed with the mental facilities to think difficulties through and come up with solutions that will work;  that luck really does exist in the universe and my turn at having it good is due;  that my ship will not only come in, but it will dock and moor and stay.  Perhaps all those things have happened today and if they did, it's only because help was asked for and rendered.

What is it about asking?  It feels as if there's some stigmata that goes with getting help.  Explaining situations does not equal humiliation so why is it such a task?  What driving force causes the heart to flutter and the mind to conjure error-laden thoughts and the feet to hesitate?

I dunno...  Coming (almost) full circle to these middle-aged years of life, I'm still learning to cope with personal inadequacies of self-esteem.  Confidence in abilities lags at times;  confidence in God-given talents isn't always full of the faith it should be.  It seems as if, now that the niche to excel in has been found, that the worthiness and ability to proceed produces fear of failing;  of finishing the course of study begun.


This morning I asked for help:  financial aid help.  The small junior college currently in attendance had denied it, their basis a matter of policy.  There were too many hours transferred back and the accumulative grade point average wasn't exactly something to be proud of.   An appeal to their decision was submitted, with a soul baring explanation of the dismal academic performance given over two decades ago.  That appeal was denied as well.  I thought of giving up, of finding some excuse for myself that could be expanded and expounded upon to garner sympathy;  an honorable way to tuck tail and disappear.

2013 is, however, the year of no excuses.  I've stuck to that resolution  there is no out for failure.  I was going to need help to complete the Culinary Arts degree so desperately wanted.  Help, so difficult to ask for and yet so necessary;  I've never wanted a thing for myself as much as that degree.  The decision to proceed to ask for help was difficult.  An appointment was made:  the appeal was appealed this morning.

The meeting with three representatives of the financial aid department and college was filled with questions and answers.

My mouth didn't trip over spinning thoughts while answering forthright, outright, and with truth and integrity, perhaps because of the confidence felt simply wearing the black uniform required on Thursdays in the culinary department.  Disease-warped individuals like myself have a real problem with appearance, despite admonitions that the thing is hardly noticeable.  I felt like I looked confident.  The line from  Billy Crystal's Saturday Night Live character, Ricardo Montalban, came to mind, "And remember, Darling, it is better to look good than to feel good..."

I'd asked for prayers at Bible study last night;  thoughts of assurance and nothing but the will of the Almighty being done as a life of (sometimes feeble) faith and hope is lived kept nerves from running entirely amok.  The little smooth rock was, again, in a pants pocket to remind a trembling spirit "There is no Rock like our God."  It was the first time prayers were ever petitioned for myself;  there was a weirdness about it.  They were needed.  It would be all good (Romans 8: 28) regardless of the outcome of the meeting.

The thirty minute meeting felt like forty forevers.  Dismissed from the room while their decision was reached, I paced the waiting room, talked white perch fishing with the custodian, and church and family with the receptionist.

The director came out with papers in her hand and a smile.  They'd approved the appeal.  Financial aid was awarded.  The relief, the joy, the thumbs up that I'm where I'm supposed to be... it's indescribable.  It's put me in a state of thankfulness, humbleness, gratefulness, and contentedness that hasn't been felt in a very long while.

Still.  What was the big deal?  What is it about asking?  That's not for financial aid only - that's for any help.  What causes the hesitancy?  Is it fear?  And if it's fear, is it fear of failure? or of success?

I still can't find those answers but I'm encouraging any of you in need of any sort of help to put your big gurl panties (or boxers) on, deal with the doubts, and ask for it.  It's out there and it's waiting for you...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mayree's Mental Moment of Muscle

I'd arrived Thursday morning at JCJC Bobcat Fitness Center to (hopefully) become instructed on the proper use of cardiovascular equipment.  Mr. Lavon was manning the desk and couldn't fit an appointment in.  I set out on the fitness endeavor all by myself, if you don't count the other four souls in the center.  Being clothed in leggings and tee shirt and having two hours until class, a quick spin on the stationary bicycle and upper body work out on the weight machines was in order.

The stationary bicycle panel is full of all manner of programming.

 I've not strayed from the manual program yet.  Height and weight and time were entered and cycling was started on level 2 to properly warm leg muscles.  Three minutes later, it was increased to level seven.  Within seconds calf muscles started feeling the resistance on the pedals.  At the minute mark, I was sure all the leg muscles would freeze into place.  I could see it happening, the paramedic team called along with the fire department, to use jaws of life to extricate a still-sweating middle-aged corpse from the machine.

The resistance level was bumped down after two minutes before the smoke detector above my head went off and the fire department was, indeed, summoned.  Amazingly, the machine's sophisticated monitoring told me that heart rate had only reached 136.  Whew!  Visions of the jaws of life tearing favorite leggings kept the remainder of the ride reasonable, with forays up to level six worked up to and back down.  The thirty minute ride traversed almost six miles over machine-fixed terrain.  Not too bad...

Thirty minutes gone from two hours left plenty of time to take the ten steps into the land generally ruled by testosterone:  the weight room.   What was I thinking?  What WAS I thinking???  Someone tell me what I was thinking, please.  It must've been the elation felt at simply being able to walk that boosted confidence enough to work on building upper torso, shoulder, and arm muscles.

All the various machines have padded adjustable seats and stationary back rests, although at different positions and sometimes obscene angles.  There are rubber-padded grips to be clung to, rolled padding bars to lean against, welded steel foot rests to prop on.  It reminds me of an overly illuminated dungeon cell (a full wall of mirrors is the first clue it's a place of torture) with all manner of torture machines, except there are no knives, loppers, pincers, spears, or Iron Maidens here.

The first method of torture machine selected is for the pectoral muscles.  Who figures out how to make a machine just to exercise the muscles that are supposed to exist under the ta-tas?  I barely finished one set, ta-tas shaking and jiggling so mightily a minor earthquake was created in Alaska.  If you know me, you know there's not a lot to shake and jiggle.  To create this seismic event, serious momentum had to have been generated. The weight was dropped back to 20 pounds to complete a second set of repetitions.

I don't know what it's called, but the machine works the tricep area.  Yes, those muscles with the under arm wings of flab attachments.

If I were hanging on the edge of a building and had to pull myself up, using upper body strength, I'd perish;  probably wouldn't hang around too long either.  I can't do it.  Most folks have "visit Paris" "drive a NASCAR" "fly in a hot air balloon" on their bucket list. I only have two items:  attend Burning Man and do a dozen pull ups.

Annnnnnyways.  The machine has the grips in front of the seat, spaced barely wide enough apart for a wide-bodied gurl like myself to sit down without having to turn sideways.  I'm thankful for that small fact, at least.  The seat is adjusted so feet are flat on the floor, shoulder length apart.  I'd already set the weight to twenty pounds.  I can do twenty pounds.  A voice was heard to say "That's too easy, you can do more."  One set of 35 pounds was not too bad.  A second set was started... and barely completed.  Yikes!  What is that sensation that feels like someone is pinching the entire back of my arms????  OWWwwwwwch.  Three minutes of elbow-across-body stretching ended the beginning of tricep cramps.  A third set could be managed.

Even though there were only four people in the entire facility at that moment and help certainly could be attained with nothing more than a loud whimper, I determined this could be done by myself.  No help.  No excuses.  One more set of 10 repetitions could be done.

Repetition #1 was okay.  On #2, I forgot to breathe so on #3 the burning started such that #4 felt like scalded muscles inside stripped-away skin.  Rep #5, I pushed lower back into the padded seat (thankful that it was padded) and, causing the after shock tremors in Alaska, jiggled and shook the push outward.  And locked elbows.  New combinations of expletives coursed through the brain--some I'd never even heard before.  I'm asked if assistance is needed.  "No!  Don't touch me!  Don't touch the machine!  We are going.  to.  finish.. this!!!"

That's when I saw the emergency cardiac defib machine on the wall.
These are all stock photos, by the way,
right off the internet.  If it's YOUR photo, I'll
be more than happy to credit you.

Yep.  Right there, the other side of those huge rubber balls in several colors of the rainbow, in a case (did it say "In emergency break glass"?) was a defibrillator.  Wow.  My mind heard Mr. Lavon saying, "Ms. Mayree, we'll be more than happy to shock your heart back into rhythm, but first you're going to have to uncurl your buttocks from that seat, let the weight down, and finish those last five reps."

They probably think I'm crazy.  The weight was let down.  I walked out the door laughing loudly.

Even though those muscle toning activities were three days ago, biceps, triceps, trapezius, and pectoral muscles still fell the effects with every heart beat.  But there's always next week.  Maybe I can successfully lift more than a pen then....
I actually did have that early morning appointment with Mr. Lavon this morning.  It wasn't so bad -- working out those muscles that I was sure would never function properly again.  And just for the record, there haven't been any more after-shocks in Alaska either...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm a Bobcat now, Dr. Williams said so...

(stock photo)
I sat in the library at Jones County Junior College awaiting a counselor to set a class schedule.  To kill time, I took out the twenty-six year old college transcript from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

The coffee became very heavy as an empty gut wrenched, knotted, twisted, and turned;  my face flushed.  It's 2013:  the year of no excuses.  Yet, looking at semester after semester of poor academic performances, excuses were the only things coming to mind.

To say I was sheltered as the youngest of five children and the only daughter would be an understatement of epic proportion.  I was.  Those years made the caring, sharing, loving person the writes before you.  It also, once high school graduation commenced and ended, gave me the feeling that much had been missed -- and I was determined to learn what that was.

I enrolled in college and late-night (or rather, early morning) life where much consumption of beverages of the alcoholic sort and socializing were the norm.  Eight o'clock classes were seldom met and certainly not the boring ones.  I'd graduated sixth out of a class of 63 in high school.  Chemistry 101 was held in an auditorium with 250+ students.  Why go?  I wouldn't be missed.

Daddy and I had began butting heads continuously after the first grades came in.  He began to hinder party mobility by not allowing use of the family car.  I viewed his restrictions as a way to bridle a new, free spirit; to suppress ideology not in accord with his own... I didn't like him very much at all.

Kicking and screaming, I returned to boring Greene County to teach piano lessons and help work the farm.  Daddy and I came to a sort of cease fire of hostilities and worked shoulder to shoulder under a hot March sun laying corn by and staking tomatoes in a splendid early garden one fine Saturday.

He died of a heart attack in his sleep that night.

You'd think I would have buckled down harder than ever, returning to college, to attend class, study, and make him proud of me.

I didn't.

Thrown, nay, hurled into a sorrow and depression not understood, roll playing games, committing the entire dialogue from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and drinking as much apple schnapps and beer as possible became a life for which thought was unnecessary.

Am I making excuses?  Not at all.  I'm letting y'all know I was ignorant of the blessings of my youth.  Gratitude for an incredible environment of loving, living, and learning meant nothing.  Denial and self-indulgence were once a way of life for this (now) middle-aged Southern gurl.  I'm reminded that "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."  

I'm fessing up to a couple of years of hard living (some college friends are amazed to find me still alive).  I'm not proud of them, but they, also, have shaped a person more determined than ever to use a talented mind to do something.
I have no clue what the last word of the graphic is supposed to be.
You'll have to ask Dr. Williams.

There are no excuses.  It is what it is;  or what it was, a feeble dismissal of events and a weak excuse in itself.  A past was exposed today.  And the truth has set me free.  I'm a Bobcat now.  Just ask Dr. Williams...
Watch out, folks.  I'm running with knives.  Stick around and
learn with me!
Thank you, Dr. Williams, for taking on this non-traditional student with scheduling;  for listening;  for knowing;  for leading Jones County Junior College in the state and nation with non-traditional student services.  Your encouragement and patience were invaluable in keeping emotions from running high and helping to keep an addled mind focused.  I can't thank  you enough and look forward, not only to your tutelage, but friendship as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


An odd thing happened during church today.
I'd finished playing the Doxology:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Removing myself from the piano bench and getting situated on the pew (second on the left), I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Johnnie, three rows directly behind, her white hair, bright smile, and twinkling eyes giving a nod as I sat.
She wasn't there, of course -- hadn't been there for many years, having entered the Sabbath Rest like so many beloved others of our small congregation.  Her soft voice reached through memory, "You get on back to school, Missy.  You'll do just fine."

Perhaps it's the anxiety of being a non-traditional student at a junior college at this late date in life that summoned other voices, long quiet, to calm and strengthen a hesitant soul.  Daddy's clear tenor quipped, "Time to do it, Shug.  Fix us a pot of coffee and figure that out."

Tears were fought to keep from falling as Thomas' exposition of Genesis 3: 15 and an Old Promise for a New Year continued.

Billy's sweet spirit touched lightly, "You're my favorite aunt.  Make me proud."  John's no-nonsense words rang true to his eldest sibling position in the family.  "Be careful on the road;  lots more idiots than you out there.   Don't be quite so much yourself.  Just because you can speak doesn't mean you have to.  Study.  You're smart enough."

It was odd, all right.  Was I visited by spirits during church?  No.  Did this soul, spirit, and mind manufacture necessary words of selective encouragement in the one place of Ultimate Encouragement?  Yes.

An Old Promise for a New Year concluded.  I play and we sing, "Then in a nobler sweeter song I'll sing Your power to save, when this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave."

Lie silent now.  And thank you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oven Roasted Rutabagas and Mr. Van

**sigh**  I don't suppose there's a single food consumed here that doesn't bring back a memory or two.  Even rutabagas bring back thoughts of great fondness from young family days lived in Oxford, Mississippi and our next door neighbors there, Mr. Van and Mrs. Faye.  Mr. Van loved rutabagas, too;  Mrs. Faye didn't like to cook them, didn't like the way the smelled up her house.

It's the nature of a Southern cook to cook too much.  Store bought rutabagas this time of year are gargantuan, compared to those grown in home gardens in the area.  And there's no such thing as cooking only half a rutabaga.  We hadn't been living in Oxford long before I'd bought one and cooked the huge pot of them, plenty enough to share with the neighbors we were still getting to know, along with a half-pan of cornbread.  Mrs. Faye was pleased to have a neighbor that could cook but Mr. Van was one very happy retired truck driver with the gesture.

They became a part of our lives and Mr. Van became a fixture in the kitchen.  Several times a year, he'd bring over a rutabaga and, with a sly grin ask "You reckon it's fit to eat?"  His tall, lean person, topped with a shock of white hair and ever-present hat would offer the vegetable and usually a small portion of salt meat.  "I don't know, Mr. Van,"  I'd say, "But I reckon we can find out."

Friends come and go, moving in and out of our lives but good neighbors, I find, are hard to replace.  Mr. Van died several years ago.  Mrs. Faye and I talk several times a year.  They'll always be our neighbors, though.  And I'll always think of Mr. Van with every rutabaga.

Tonight I've cooked oven-roasted rutabagas.  They're super easy to prepare;  the ingredients list is short; and take little time to cook.  AND they're heart friendly, with no saturated fats whatsoever.

You'll need a rutabaga, coarse salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
Preheat oven to 500 F.  Yep.  500.  It's not going to take this deliciousness but 30 minutes to cook.

Peel and cut rutabaga into huge steak-fries size, roughly 1/2 into to 3/4 inch sticks.  I'd been gifted these locally grown rutabagas.   I was going to can them but decided to have them for supper instead.
This is a 14 X 18 baking sheet.  I like to line it with foil
because it is one of the cake pans.  The foil
assures that there won't be any funky stuff
to have to scrub before a cake gets baked in it.
And it makes clean-up a snap, too.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.  How much?  Use enough to oil to coat the rutabagas (maybe a half-cup?) and roughly a tablespoon of salt for this big pan full.  They can be salted after cooking, too, but I enjoy having the seasoning braised right in to the vegetable.

Cover with foil and put on lowest rack in preheated oven for fifteen minutes.

Take foil off rutabagas and turn/flip/maneuver them over.  Put back into oven for another fifteen minutes.  You can hear them sizzling and the aroma, I must disagree with Mrs. Faye, is far from undesirable.  

Ding!  They're ready!  Be careful, you'll want to sample them right out of the pan before they ever reach a serving dish and wowzers are they hot!  
See how nice and brown?  MMmmmmmm...

Tadadaaaa!  No sugar is necessary to sweeten them, no other fats needed to flavor them.  They're a little different from traditionally prepared rutabagas but if you love rutabagas like me and Mr. Van, you'll still enjoy them.

And don't forget to share...