Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Turnips are the Tops!

I think the first time I ever ate a turnip wasn't until I was around 17 years old, and I've eaten them only one or two times more since then. No reason why really, as I thought they were delicious mashed (the only way I ever had them). I guess just not having grown up eating them, it doesn't often occur to me to buy turnips instead of potatoes. But, I read that they were easy to grow and good for cool weather, so in the fall garden bed they went. I am so glad!! Not only did they look gorgeous growing as the pictures above attest, they were indeed very easy to grow and produced a good harvest.

The two photos below show the whole harvest. On the left they are in three rows organized by turnip size- tiny, medium and large. I think the problem why many of them came out so small was because we didn't really thin the seedlings so they were too close together. I am not good at thinning plants at all. I guess I just hate to kill them! But next year I will definitely try harder because it clearly was a problem in the garden this season. The turnips on the right were picked a few days later. So altoghether I'd say it was around 20 nice sized turnips. The unblemished, creamy white and purple globes were'n't even remotely comparable to anything I'd ever seen in the grocery store either.

I made them all into a huge crockpot of Susan V.'s Chickpea and Turnip Stew with Ethiopian Spices for a fall garden dinner party. I think at first my friends thought it was a little bitter, but there was so much food that day I didn't eat any. Later in the week though I enjoyed it very much! I would make it again for sure, and can't wait until spring to grow more turnips and mash them too.


Jeni Treehugger said...

I've never grown Turnips but I definitely want to when we move house. I'm no good at thinning either - I always feel so mean. LOL!
That looks a good Harvest though so well done!
Mmmmm Stew....
I wonder, what spices make it Ethiopian?

Ladybug said...

Hi Jeni. It was called berbere. We ground up Susan V's mix in a mortar and pestle: cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, black pepper & sea salt.

I don't know how authentic that is though, since it didn't have what wikipedia says it should: "Berbere is a spice mixture whose ingredients usually include chile peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, rue berries, and ajwain (also mistakenly known as bishop's weed). It is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea."

Jeni Treehugger said...

Well it sounds blinking FAB!
I must keep my eyes peeled for some Ethiopian Seasonings when I'm in the UK for Christmas.

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