The Turnip Point

by Marinka on October 7, 2008

Nothing makes me happier than making beef stew on an autumn day. Well, except having someone else make it, of course. Or ordering a pizza to be delivered. Or heating up leftovers. But other than that, really, beef stew is it. So a few Saturdays ago when I woke up and announced that it was going to be a beef stew day to my husband, I was not prepared for his response.

“Make sure to put turnips in,” he said. And then went back to sleep.

Now, I don’t know what it says about a man who can practically sleep through an earth shattering announcement of beef stew preparation. And I’m afraid to know what it says about a woman who was unprepared for the turnip request, since my husband’s turniphilia is well known. He practically worked in the devotion to turnips into our vows. “I, Husbandrinka, promise to love and honor you above all others, with the exception of turnips, so long as we both shall live. With turnips.”

The problem is that I don’t love turnips. And more than not love them, I despise them with an intensity that most people reserve for tyrants and despots and Paris Hilton. The taste gags me and their similarity to my favorite potatoes enrages me. How many times have I bitten with anticipation into what I suspected was a beloved potato only to discover that it was a turnip? Well, maybe only once, but it wasn’t pretty.

Every time I make beef stew, we have the turnip vs. potato debate. It never ends well.

“I can’t take it anymore!” I sobbed on the phone to my friend John. Yes, of the clitoris fame. Suddenly, he became a marriage counselor. “Just put in both potatoes and turnips, but cut them in different shapes,” he suggested.

Great. Now I had to cook and become a geometry expert.

“What different shapes? Like crucifix turnips for him and Star of David potatoes for me?” I blew my nose.

“I was thinking more circles and squares, but that could work too,” John said. “Weren’t your ancestors turnip pickers in the Old Country? You should be more respectful of your heritage.”

So, I was going to do it. I was going to make stupid circles of disgusting turnips and beautiful squares of scrumptious potatoes, but then it seemed like too much work, so I chopped everything and threw it in.

And had a slice of leftover pizza for dinner.

One year ago ...

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kylie w Warszawie October 7, 2008 at 4:11 am

My husband hates anything green. Or red. Or yellow. Okay, he hates anything that grows and is not an animal. Except that he doesn’t eat meat. So he hates everything except tortilla chips and cheese. Which is what he ate for every meal before we got married.

And unfortunately for him, he married a hippie. So not only do I like to eat things that grow, I like to eat things that grow in our garden.


Kate Coveny Hood October 7, 2008 at 4:36 am

I hate to admit it – but I side with Husbandrinka on this one. I love turnips! But I only really discovered them a few years ago. We never had them growing up – but I had a root “medley” from Whole Foods once – and a whole new world opened up for me…

But I understand your feelings. My husband loves – wait for it – okra. Yuck!


Vodka Mom October 7, 2008 at 5:00 am

that was hysterical. Star of David potatoes. I need to try that.


Nilsa S. October 7, 2008 at 6:02 am

I don’t love turnips. But, isn’t the whole point of stew to throw a mish-mash of things and let them blend together? Is your hatred of turnips so great you would not want them to participate in the social gathering known as beef stew?


sofie October 7, 2008 at 7:28 am

Turnips are the one corner of pure romantic nostalgia in my childhood. I’d eat a raw turnip each afternoon before dinner (while my Mom got the wine and the valium–hmm, now I’m thinking perhaps she had the better deal!) But they were never shaped like anything remotely Judaic…which frankly makes me feel I was robbed.

Oh well, back to therapy.


Heinous October 7, 2008 at 7:29 am

You should soak the turnips in food coloring until they’re a nice, toxic green. I don’t know if it will affect the color of the stew, but then of course, that’s your problem not mine.


Jess October 7, 2008 at 7:56 am

I’m with you on this one. I would have eaten the pizza, too.


Madge October 7, 2008 at 8:28 am

turnips are bad. and beets. i know they have nothing to do with each other, but i just have to take any opportunity i can to say that i hate beets.

i hate beets.


Mama Ginger Tree October 7, 2008 at 9:04 am

OK, I side with you on this one. Husbandrinka needs to learn to respect the potato.


Me October 7, 2008 at 11:38 am

What the hell? There is somebody out there who actually likes turnips?

What a freak.


Kristine October 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I’ve never had a turnip. So I cannot speak to their greatness or terriblness…but I do know that potatoes are what belongs in beef stew.


kia (good enough mama) October 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Dammittttttt!!!! I was SO looking forward to seeing pics of the little turnip balls. I wanted to see how they compare in size to the balls of other vegetables. I’ve heard turnips are pretty well hung…


anymommy October 7, 2008 at 8:56 pm


I’m with you on the turnips. Hooray! A point of food agreement. A vegetable crossing of the aisle. Perhaps, my friend, (aha, yes I did just watch the debate), we can leave our caffiene differences aside.


Z October 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I’m not much of a turnip fan, either… Or beef, for that matter. Though I am totally down with that slice of leftover pizza! 😉


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