Okay people! What is all the fuss about? I grow turnips and have absolutely NO idea why? Turnips are pretty much tasteless, nondescript additions to soups correct? Turnip greens give me a horrible, burning rash. The turnips themselves are peppery to the point of being bitter. The one thing they have going for them is they are easy to grow.
Yesterday afternoon, our family worked outside in the blazing heat to do what I said was a "little" gardening." Three hours later, I had yanked up my turnip crop, dug for and replanted potatoes, pinched beans from vines and gently plucked tomatoes. I even found a lost zucchini and discovered the mystery things growing all about my garden are angry watermelons. I say "angry" watermelons because they are not happy they came to the party on the eve of the month that brings potential frost; so, just to be spiteful, several are turning black and rotting at the ends. I also found musk melons but not before some little (no doubt, adorable) free-loading creature tunnelled their way in and ate them-self, I hope, to death. THEN, the real work in our garden began- weeding. Oh, Lord, don't get me started!
Anyway, hot, sweaty, filthy, covered in scratches, thorn injuries, rashes and bites; I stumble into the house, cleaned up and cursed myself for ever planting a garden! It is gratifying to tend and consume food you grew yourself but it is also a commitment. Gardens need to be taken care of and they don't care if your child needs to get to college or if your child begins school this week or, if in general, the "tender" of the garden is just plain tired of tending the garden...
Where was I? Oh YES! Turnips!
So, after all of the above, I sautéed the turnips until they were tender in a bit of olive oil and butter. I added organic sucanat (dried cane sugar) for its nutty, robust flavor to banish the bitterness of the turnips, garlic and shallot and finished them with a bit of half and half. I even did a voodoo dance over them. (You know, the kind you do in front of automatic paper towel dispensers.) ALL to no avail! After dinner, my sweet but dumb husband turns to me and says,
'What were those white things? Turnips?'
'Yes.' I said
'Well, that's enough of that. Lets NOT do THAT again.' He said.
'Yes.' I said. "Turnip-Shmirnip' and then I promptly thwacked him with the rash-promoting turnip greens I had been saving for just such an occasion.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor