Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Plinius on November 15, 2016 at 8:24am

I made this with the big yellow turnips with the purplish skin - I'm not a turnip fan but this made a very good meal.

Cut the turnips to the size of French fries and put oil and butter in the wok. Stir-fry the turnip on maximum heat until brown tiger stripes appear. Lower the heat and add 100 grams of hazel nuts, black pepper and a teaspoon of thyme. Stir-fry some four minutes longer, sprinkle with a handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other cheese, and serve with brown rice.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 15, 2016 at 6:55am
Looks like Joan has the turnip issue covered. I've never been a fan of them. I did enjoy reading about them in the classic "Tobacco Road" book!
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2016 at 12:11am

Yes, Kathy, I would agree that a trim of the top would be appropriate, just realize you will lose one year of blossoms. In the future, you will have a nicely shaped lilac and not have to worry about breaking limbs. If you do want to prune it in the future, do it when you are cutting out the fading blossoms. 

Comment by kathy: ky on November 14, 2016 at 9:27pm
Thanks Joan and Daniel. I know I'll miss a years blooms but one of them has grown over twelve ft tall. It's full and bushey at the top but the base is rather narrow. If I don't prune it back this year I'm afraid it will break under the weight of the next blooms. I figured it's better to do it while it's dormant. Ive never seen ome grow so top heavy before. Its not making new shoots at the bottom. I have three others that I've decided to leave alone.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 7:26pm

The picked turnip recipe is in Epicurious, too; there are many recipes there and I have not tried tem. These two recipes are basically from my Grandma.

There are many more in Epicurious: 


Grandma also made a turnip slaw, just as you would make Cole slaw. It was something like this:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling
MAKES: 4 servings

Turnip Slaw 


  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups shredded peeled turnips


  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except turnips. Pour over turnips and toss well to coat. Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend. Yield: 4 servings.
Comment by Bertold Brautigan on November 14, 2016 at 6:58pm

That sounds great, Joan. I love leeks and cannellinis are my favorite bean.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 6:47pm

This is from Epicurious and is similar to Grandma Whitehead's recipe. 


Leek and Cannellini Bean Soup


Yield4 servings


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced turnip
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 (14-to 16-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


  • 1. In a large pot, put 1/4 cup of the oil over high heat and heat until it shimmers. Add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • 2. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, and salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • 3. Add the cannellini beans and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • 4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each portion with cheese and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 6:02pm

Daniel, turnips are a delicious vegetable, especially in the early summer when I pull up one, wash it off and take slices with my trustworthy shielded knife and a sprinkle of salt from a shaker I keep for that purpose. I take a small bucket of water from the kitchen faucet so I know it is slug free. 

This recipe comes from my Grandma Whitehead

Turnips, pickled: 

YIELD:  Makes 1 quart


  • 1 small red beet, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 1 red chile (such as Fresno),halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 pound small turnips, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Combine beet, chile (if using), and turnips in a 1-quart heatproof jar or container.
  • Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour pickling liquid over turnip mixture and let cool. Cover and chill at least 1 week before using.
  • Do ahead: Turnip mixture can be pickled 4 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 5:46pm
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2016 at 9:01pm

Randy, your style of composting matches mine. I have done that for more years than I want to admit. I did an experiment years ago when I cut down corn stocks, piled them up and then started throwing other trimmings on top. I checked the corn stocks a year later and they were almost composted. I left them another year and couldn't tell the corn stocks from the zucchini and squash vines, all turned to black gold.. 

Any squash I don't eat, I cut open for the birds to feed on at the bird feeder station. By spring, there is nothing identifiable left. 


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