turnips on white tile kitchen counter

|| 20 December 2018

Mashed Turnips For Holiday Dinners

When I was living on the Texas Riviera and writing the first Chic & Slim books, one holiday food custom I encountered there I had not known elsewhere. That was mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes with the turkey and dressing and such for the holiday dinners.

As with other traditional dishes, there was disagreement among the populace as to how mashed turnips should be prepared.

My friend Mary was in her kitchen peeling turnips in preparation for cooking. Her husband standing nearby informed her that his mother always boiled the turnips, then peeled and mashed them. The argument over whether peeling was done before or after cooking finally ended with Mary testily telling her husband, “Robert, if you don’t get out of this kitchen, I will peel your nose with this paring knife.”

Actually I think the sharp, somewhat peppery taste of turnips makes a better accompaniment to the traditional dressing/stuffing and turkey than does the bland starchy taste of potatoes. Mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes is certainly a savings in calories. At least, if you don’t overdo the butter and milk you add to make the puree of turnips.

And it would be wise to remember that busy holiday cooks likely will not appreciate suggestions for alternate ways to cook dishes they have been preparing for decades in their time-tested manner.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

image: Turnips from Anne's son's fall garden.