Saturday, December 06, 2008

Paula's mashed rutabaga recipe

From Paula Deen's
Best Dishes show on the Food Network. (Vegetarians will want to lose the "streak o' lean," needless to say.)

New world record: 77.9 lbs / 35.4 kg.!

A giant rutabaga grown by Norm Craven of Cannington, Ontario, Canada, has established a new
world record for a non-GMO rutabaga. Mr. Craven's rutabaga weighed in at a hefty 77.8 lbs. / 35.4 kg.

Despite ARSI's vehement protests over the years, the World Record Academy and Guinness Book of World Records will not accept weight and size records established by GMO's (genetically-modified organisms). In 2006, for example, Guinness refused to even acknowledge the existence of a 378.22 pound / 172 kg. rutabaga grown in ARSI's experimental labs on the ground that it was "genetically engineered."

Friday, December 05, 2008

Annual Rutabaga Curl - Ithaca, NY

Our good friend Steve Sierigk, Commissioner of the Annual Rutabaga Curl in Ithaca, New York, sends the following announcement about this year's competition and last year's highlights:
"We are beginning preparations for yet another great Rutabaga Curl...our eleventh annual! This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, December 20th at high noon!

"We have had quite a year. Our torch bearer set out on a goodwill tour of the U.S. earlier this summer. This generally goes off without too much incident; but this year our torch bearer was hounded and harassed unmercifully. It turns out that our Rutabaga Curl's Torch bearer (a Swede of great stature no less) was being confused with the torch bearer from another sporting event which was apparently not as popular as our own. Our torch bearer has finally come out of hiding and is fortunately making his way back to Ithaca, home of our Annual Rutabaga Curl. Unlike that other sporting event referred to earlier we welcome protests & protesters of all kinds as it only adds to the ambience that makes our Curling event great!

"Apparently another NY State county (Steuben) will hold their first annual Rutabaga Curl, fully sanctioned by the Commissioner. So our sport continues to grow.

"By the way early music scholars at Cornell found an early draft of George Frederic Handel's Messiah. The words were not Hallelujah! but rather Rutabaga! The first ever live performance of this piece will be unveiled at this year's Curl! We hope to have the piece on our rutabaga curl site soon after the event.

"Lastly a farmer friend sent me a link to a curious sport also involving the hurling of root vegetables...see below.

"Have A Great Winter!"
Thanks, Steve, for keeping us posted once again. We look forward to receiving the official results, which we assume will be delayed until January pending the outcome of the usual lab tests for performance-enhancing substances.

ARSI staff also appreciates the link to the Mangold Hurling Association the U.K. We've taken the liberty of forwarding it to Obie MacAroon III at his research station in the upper Amazonian basin of Peru.

PHOTO (above): ARSI #23PN237-432A, a genetically-modified, high-density rutabaga specifically designed for curling.

POSTER (top): Courtesy of Steve Sierigk, Commissioner of the Annual Rutabaga Curl.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

ARSI: Working for safer highways

Few people realize that ARSI truckers log over 925,000 miles per year while delivering 2.73 million tons of rutabagas to various destinations around North America. That's why ARSI, along with several other large shippers, was chosen to take part in an extensive study of driver behavior by the Motorized Information-Sharing Technology Survey (MISTS) at the University of Southwestern North Dakota.

The focus of MISTS was on the effects of familiar distractions reported by drivers everywhere, including the rampant use of modern technologies. The authors assumed that, "unfortunately, many drivers routinely allow themselves to be distracted from the road by hunger, boredom and the perceived need to constantly communicate with others." Reading, text-messaging, frequent laptop use, snacking and napping were by far the most common distractions reported by drivers.

Some of the results and recommendations of MISTS were surprising:
  • Some highway snacks are safer than others. French fries and potato chips, though easily consumed while still watching the road ahead, were especially dangerous. Why? "They tend to be greasy, causing the fingers to slip off the steering wheel more readily," the authors note. Pizza posed relatively few risks, especially if the crust was thicker and therefore less likely to spill hot mozzerella onto the driver's lap.
  • While there's no doubt that M&M's "melt in your mouth,not in your hand," this treat is less than ideal for snacking while driving. The reason? Drivers are likely to become distracted while groping on the seat or floor for dropped candies. Traditional chocolate bars may be safer.
  • USA Today was the safest newspaper to read while driving, while The New York Times was the most dangerous. The reason? USA Today has short articles, with shorter words, and the articles all appear on the same page. Turning newspaper pages while driving was particularly hazardous. And Readers Digest is far safer than the novels of Proust or Joyce.
  • Text-messaging and email drafting should be limited to straight stretches of the highway, with no more than five words entered at any one time. Be sure to allow a few extra seconds between yourself and the car ahead of you. Use abbreviations or acronyms where possible and do not feel that you need to respond instantly to incoming messages.
  • In another surprising finding, many drivers could nap without incident on long straightaways during periods of light traffic, provided they set an alarm to limit snoozing to no more than 30 seconds. Napping drivers should never set their cruise control at speeds higher than the limit.
  • If you're going to watch a YouTube video that's longer than 30 seconds, be sure to slow to within 10 mph of the speed limit.
In response to these findings, ARSI immediately initiated an ambitious program to retrain its drivers.

The authors of the MISTS study conclude: "While we don't want to encourage dangerous driving behaviors, we simply must recognize that many drivers will seek out distractions from the tedious chore of driving. Our goal is therefore to identify and stigmatize the most dangerous behaviors in the hope of encouraging safer driving habits."

PHOTO: ARSI delivery truck loaded and ready to roll (unmarked to discourage road piracy).

Sunday, November 02, 2008

ARSI endorses Obama - Tuesday is "National Rutobama Day"

The following ARSI Press Release, personally drafted by ARSI President for Life Obie MacAroon III, was text-messaged by satellite from the Amazon rainforests of Peru:
"For the first time in its long history, ARSI is pleased to endorse a presidential candidate: Barack Obama.

"Although it is not known whether Senator Obama has ever even tasted rutabagas, it is clear that he is open to recognizing the virtues of root vegetables other than the potato. The evidence? In recent stump speeches, he has been referring to "sweet potato pie" in terms like the following: "We might have to have a sweet potato pie contest. I'll be the judge. Cause I know my sweet potato pie."

"Surely a candidate who recognizes the appeal of the lowly sweet potato would be equally susceptible to the charms of rutabaga pie. We at ARSI will make every effort to include rutabaga pie in the contest that he's offered to judge.

"Unlike his opponents [see below for details], Obama offers rutabagans everywhere a priceless commodity: hope.

"With the power vested in me by our organization, I take pride in declaring that Election Day, 2008, shall be known as NATIONAL RUTOBAMA DAY!"

--Obie MacAroon III - Iquitos, Peru
This coveted endorsement followed weeks of appraisals of the candidates' opinions on rutabagas and other root vegetables.
The McCain campaign, in response to an email inquiry, tersely replied: "Go f*** yourselves!"

Sarah Palin was more receptive, exclaiming: "Yes, we grow giant rutabagas in Alaska, and I can even look out my window and see a patch or two. Let me think about it." A few minutes later, though, a staffer called and said: "Sorry, no can do. We hear you people are a bunch of whack jobs."

Joe Biden, reached by telephone, said "Are you joking?" before hanging up in apparent disgust.

Based on its careful evaluation of the candidates, ARSI is pleased to endorse Barack Obama for President.

UPDATE (11/2/08):

A six-figure donation to Obama/Biden, personally signed by Obie MacAroon, was "politely but firmly rejected" by the campaign, according to an Obama representative in Chicago.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obie MacAroon III speaks

ARSI's corporate office has just received the following email dispatch from Obie MacAroon III, President for Life. For the last two years, President MacAroon has been exploring the upper Amazon basin in Peru with an expert team of botanists.
October 14, 2008
Iquitos, Peru

My friends,

It has recently come to my attention, thanks to an intrepid correspondent, that no entries whatsover have been made on The Rutabagan since January 1st of this year. This is totally unacceptable to me -- an outrage, in fact. I remind you all that ARSI's current budget includes a $1.2 million line item to fund a staff of 84 bloggers and support staff to update and maintain The Rutabagan on "a regular basis," as it says in their contracts.

Needless to say, I hereby direct that the entire Rutabagan staff be fired immediately: i.e., by 5:00 p.m. today. Before being allowed to leave, each staffer should be thoroughly searched for stolen valuables such as office supplies and highly-sensitive trade secrets from our experimental labs. I further direct that our legal team pursue a relentless litigation strategy to hold staff accountable for its nonfeasance and neglect of duty.

Meanwhile, the search for the "tropical rutabaga" continues in the lowlands of central Peru, with many promising leads that we intend to pursue in the coming months and years. With global warming, of course, the discovery of this species could greatly promote the spread of rutaculture worldwide.

Finally, my congratulations to loyal staff on the recent designation of October, 2008, as National Rutabaga Month. Keep up the good work!


Obie MacAroon III
ARSI President for Life
Rest assured, rutabagans, that President MacAroon's directive will be pursued immediately and without remorse. As pictured below, ARSI's private security detail has already assumed control of the offices and outbuildings of The Rutabagan. Slight resistance from staff was quickly overcome.

ARSI will immediately hire an entirely new staff to upgrade and maintain The Rutabagan. We apologize to our many readers for the paucity of recent entries -- a problem that will be corrected in the very near future. Please stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rutabaga curling update!

The 10th Annual International Rutabaga Curl has concluded another intense competition at the Farmer's Market in Ithaca, New York. Our congratulations to Commissioner Steve and all the individual and team participants for a very successful event.

As we watch this exciting sport grow exponentially, we at ARSI are hopeful that rutabaga curling will become a regular event in the winter Olympics, starting in 2010 at Vancouver, B.C.