Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Turnip by Any Other Name ...

A turnip by any other name ain't a goddam rutabega. Which I just found out today.

I'm an old Yankee, and when it comes to Thanksgiving, turnips are a must. Most people don't have a clue how to prepare turnips in an edible fashion. But my mother, who was an earnest Yankee, but only a middling cook, knew her tubers.

"It's the sherry. Don't skimp on the sherry," she would say while ardently pouring. And she wasn't referring to that crapalacious cooking sherry, either.

"And plenty of butter." None of that fake non-dairy good-for-your-heart drek, either.

"And don't forget the salt." A heart attack in the making, by current standards.

So when I went to Safeway to get the Thanksgiving goodies, I headed for the turnips. But they looked so small. And ridiculously priced, to my total disgust. We're not talking filet mignon, here, though you'd never know it from the price.

Anyway, since the turnips looked so small and anemic, I decided to buy rutabegas instead. They're the same family, blah blah, how different can they be?

I'm here to tell you, when I boiled those rutabegas, and mashed them, and added the sherry and butter and salt ... well, it tasted like shit, to be honest. So bitter, so awful, so stomach-twistingly bad.

So after giving the rutabegas an indecent burial, I trundled back to Safeway and got some turnips. And boiled them, and mashed them, and drenched them in butter, sherry and salt. Omigod. Bliss. I will never, never, ever make that rutabega mistake again.

Now if someone could just tell me where I could buy some bottles of boiled onions so I could make some proper creamed onions, this old Yankee would probably pass out from joy.


Patrick McGee said...

Ah! The Turnip. The sweet apple of the cabbage family. As a kid it was one of our little gang's favorite finds in my grandmother's truck garden, especially the little ones of about 3" or less in diameter.

Elleda said...

I'm used to the bigger turips, which work fine for this mashing/sherry/butter recipe. But everyone tells me those small ones you mention are great in soup and even salad.

Elleda said...

Jeez, can't spell. I mean turnips!