Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Culinary Disaster-piece Theatre: Turnip Puff edition

First off, all except those from our family and local church are thinking "What the heck is a turnip puff?"  A friend thought it was like cream puffs but made of turnips.  Not so much.  A turnip puff is a casserole of turnips and brown sugar coated with a crusty top.  It is my all time favourite thing to have at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other pot luck meals.

Every year since the time before man, my Auntie Marj has been making Turnip Puff.  She makes one for every family meal and every church supper.  She confided in me that she has been really tired of making it year after year after year. 

When I decided to have The Guy's family over for Christmas, I decided I was making Turnip Puff.  I was a grown up!  Surely I could do it.  And, while I was at it, I could make one for church Christmas dinner!

Why do I do these things to myself?

I grabbed a recipe off the Internet.  I started my plans. I needed 6 cups of turnips for each casserole.  When I went to the store, I had to ask an old lady is turnips and rutabagas were the same thing.  She confirmed they were.  The rutabagas were bigger than any turnip I ever remembered.  Somehow, in my head from the reading of the recipe to the planning of the grocery list, I had changed from 6 cups to 6 turnips per casserole.  When I saw the size of the turnip-bagas, I thought I would just play it safe and get 4 per casserole instead.  I walked out of the store with 2 bags of turnip-bagas the size of a small child's head.

Today, I decided it was time to make the casseroles.  I was going to make them well enough ahead that I could freeze them and bring them out the day of the meal.  Much less stress that way. 

I started peeling the ruta-turnips.  Each one of them weighed about 5 pounds and proceeded to get heavier as I peeled them.  Slowly, one by one, I cut them up into little pieces into a pot of water.  Surely it won't fill the whole pot, I thought (not meaning to rhyme).  It did.

THE ENTIRE POT.  This cannot be a good thing.

I put it on to boil and waited until a fork easily slid into the pieces.  I drained the pot into a colander in the sink.  Only half the pot of pieces could go into colander.  From the colander, I poured the turnips into the measuring cup.  Only half the colander fit into the 8 cup measuring cup.

Do you see the pattern here?

2 hours, a used electric mixer, hand potato masher, and dirty food processor later, I have 3 casseroles and 10 small bags of cooked turnips.  The smell of turnip is now mixed with the smell of paint from the contractors downstairs and, to tell you the truth, I'm sick of the whole thing.  I may never be able to eat a turnip again.


  1. You give me the courage to try to cook new things. If they don't work out - I just have a good story to blog.

  2. You mean you didn't get Auntie Marj's recipe?
    That's a lot of turnip, young lady. And now I'm really, really hungry for turnips.

  3. I miss turnip puff. Email me one will you. They don't seem to have turnips here. Tanya says in Siberia they fed them to cows not people. Must be our Scottish antecedants that makes us love turnips so.

  4. A rutabaga is actually a cross between cabbage and turnip. Rutabaga and Swede are the same things, turnip is different. Still, interchangeable in the way the parsnips and carrots can be. Just so you know why it may taste different than what you're expecting to taste.


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