Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quote of the Month

"The meaning of life is a rutabaga..."
Garrison Keillor, Prairie Home Companion (February 3, 2007)
In an earlier show (December 31, 2005), Mr. Keillor showed an appreciation of the rutabaga that we at ARSI deeply appreciated (especially his dissing of the turnip), but he also referred to a shadowy organization that either never existed, unfortunately, or has ceased to exist. Here is the text of his comments:
"Garrison Keillor: ...brought to you by RCA, the Rutabaga Council of America, representing America's most under-appreciated vegetable, rutabagas.

"So many people confuse rutabagas with turnips. They're not alike at all. Rutabagas have a pleasant yellow-orange color, large friendly-looking leaves, and a smooth dense texture. Turnips are fish-belly white and purple on top like a bad bruise and have hairy leaves and taste brackish, like swamp water. Rutabagas are the root crop that any sensible person would prefer.

"Rutabaga — it's suitable for any occasion. Rutabagas' firm yet impetuous flavor go well with Bordeauxs, Chablis, or even champagne. Use julienned rutabagas to clear the palate before dessert. Stir-fried rutabagas can bulk up any Chinese dish. Or how about rutabaga ratatouille. And instead of an olive in your Martini, why not try a rutabaga wedge.

"Rutabaga— it's America's under-utilized vegetable."
Nicely stated! As for the mysterious RCA, its leadership never contacted Obie MacAroon or anyone at ARSI, so we harbor a certain skepticism about its very existence.


Recognizing a fellow rutabagan when he sees one, President Obie MacAroon III authorized the following invitation to Mr. Keillor and Prairie Home Companion:
Your devoted fans at the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI) noted with great pleasure your recent declaration that "life is a rutabaga," and we couldn't agree more. In that spirit, we are delighted to inform you that February has been declared "National Rutabaga Month."

To promote deeper public appreciation of the rutabaga, we invite you to bring your show to Forest Grove, Oregon, the Rutabaga Capital of the World since 1951. ARSI's International Headquarters is located just 22 miles west of Portland in one of the oldest and grandest towns in Oregon. Forest Grove is also the home of Pacific University, the oldest university west of the Mississippi.

Our growing staff of ARSI rutabagans and rutabotanists has been delighted by your continuing efforts to raise awareness of this lowly root vegetable--and to expose the many deficiencies of the turnip, its rival for market share.

In your show on December 31, 2005, you piqued our interest with some astute comments on the virtues of the rutabaga and a reference to the "Rutabaga Council of America."

So whatever became of the RCA? Its leadership never contacted President Obie MacAroon III or anyone else at ARSI, nor did they apply for one of our generous Founder's Grants. Efforts by our researchers to locate the RCA have, so far, been fruitless. We would appreciate any leads that you or your staff may be able to provide.

I hope you will respond favorably to our invitation to come to Forest Grove. We would be honored to give you a tour of ARSI's vast laboratory complex and experimental rutabaga fields during your next visit to Oregon
Stay tuned for details on PHC's visit. Our staff will work closely with Mr. Keillor to arrange a memorable show in Forest Grove.

GRAPHIC "Rutabaga Mama," from Carruth Studios, the fine sculpture gallery of George Carruth


Anonymous said...

See my favorite recipe for rutabagas at

Anonymous said...

Hi! I need your help - since you know so much about rutabagas ... can you tell me what movie features the line 'the rutabaga blooms at midnight' . I think maybe it's a spy movie of some sort? THANKS IN ADVANCE (you will be solving a 20year old mystery).