I didn’t grow up eating a wide variety of vegetables. Potatoes, corn, green beans, and raw carrots were the staples. I learned to love broccoli, to my mother’s chagrin, at my grandma’s house, and am currently making strides with tomatoes.
Every once in a while, I’ll remember a vegetable mentioned in a book I read as a child or have seen at the grocery store, and realize that I’ve never eaten it and possibly have never talked to a real live person who regularly eats that vegetable. (I recommend reading The Pea Patch Jig by Thacher Hurd in order to instill vegetable curiosity in your children.)
I don’t know where my imaginary connection to turnips is coming from. I’m wondering if Rabbit grew turnips in his garden in Winnie the Pooh. Or maybe Frances refused to eat them in Bread and Jam for Frances. Did Molly eat turnips on the first page of an American Girls book that I’ve never read? Either way, I’ve had turnips and parsnips on the brain and decided to buy a bag of turnips for experimentation.
My first turnip attempt was roasting. I love other vegetables roasted and thought it would be a sure fire way to get myself to love turnips. That was a flop. My first mistake: roasting them alongside potatoes. Roasted potatoes are just too simple, comforting, and delicious to allow other vegetables to shine at all. My second mistake: roasting turnips in the first place. They turned out mushy and bitter.
I almost gave up hope but didn’t want to throw away my four remaining turnips. I threw one into Sarah’s potato soup and it was completely masked by the soup’s creamy delightfulness.
I’m about to try my wildcard turnip recipe, which I found at allrecipes.com. If you go to the HC house church, on Sunday, along with a delicious chana masala and a tantalizing chicken Indian dish, you’ll be experiencing Kashmiri-Style Kidney Beans with Turnips. Brace your taste buds, folks. This is going to be interesting.
While I’ve been doing all this experimenting, I’ve started to wonder if eating turnips is even important. Maybe it’s one of those vegetables that tricks you in to thinking you need to eat it because it’s a vegetable, when really it has little nutritional value. What I’ve found out is that turnips have fiber and Vitamin C. Turnip greens, which had been removed from my turnips, contain large amounts of Vitamin A and lutein, which can prevent cataracts and cardiovascular disease.
I don’t know that turnips will become a staple on our household menu, but I’m glad to have experienced turnip week. I’m still curious, however, if and how other people eat their turnips.