There really are not that many things one can do with turnips. Things that involve eating them, I mean, rather than feeding them to farm animals. But I’m trying another new thing, and I think it might work okay. Yesterday I tried to make Turnips (and Carrots) Anna–i.e., arrange slices in a pan, brown the bottom on the stovetop and then bake them–and it wasn’t too bad. I got impatient at the end and burned the ones at the bottom of the pan such that I could not take the thing to the condo holiday party, but it wasn’t too bad. Too much butter, and not enough other things going on, but otherwise not bad.
Today–because of COURSE I have more turnips, though these are Hakurai instead of purple-top–I decided to try it again. I have a ton of carrots from the farm share, too, and I had some kale in the freezer (cooked somewhat already), and I cooked up some onions and garlic as well. So the layers are, from the bottom: turnips; onions/garlic; kale; turnips; carrots; kale; onions/garlic; turnips. (I might have some of the inner layers confused with regard to order, but there are definitely three layers of turnips, two of kale and onions, and one of carrots). I added some liquid in the form of a little butter, apple juice, maple syrup, salt & pepper, and a splash of ginger syrup. We’ll see how this one comes out. I wanted to add some cheese, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it without making a full sauce, which I did not want to do. I can always grate some cheese on it when I reheat it for lunch, which is the ultimate fate of this concoction anyway.
Meanwhile, I’ve started planning the Cheeseland Christmas Cooking Extravaganza. As I have noted in the past, I have been offering to cook the past couple of years, for an assortment of reasons. And, for at least the second or possibly third time, I have come up with a list of options, and Friend cautions that his mother or sister might have other plans, and we shouldn’t get carried away, etc., and then he brings up the list of suggestions and they say “yes” to everything. This year’s food is likely to include:
- an assortment of pies and galettes (apple, blueberry, possibly something with pumpkin, though I haven’t figured that one out yet)
- Friend’s gumbo (with no bell peppers and no beans–I’m disappointed in the lack of beans, though)
- cinnamon raisin (or other filled) whole wheat bread
- crepes for breakfast one morning (this is becoming a minor tradition)
- pizzas with a toppings bar
- possibly some pork tenderloin
We try to come up with food options that allow for people to modify what they’re eating to meet their own dietary desires and needs. The pizzas are the latest brainstorm. I have been using Peter Reinhardt’s pizza dough–it involves a soaker and a preferment, mixed up the day before, and the final dough is very easy to work with–and the recipe makes five moderately sized pies (they can be shared by two for a snack, or a whole one per person is a substantial dinner, depending on the toppings one chooses. Also, though, they bake very quickly–less than ten minutes–and they freeze extremely well. Thus, we can make up a whole big bunch next weekend, with just sauce and a little cheese, and then freeze them all. As they go into the oven for eating, people will be able to add whatever they want: more cheese, some meat, veggies, whatever. We’ll have a variety of options, and the whole enterprise will enable people to customize.
I have other ideas, too, but this should get us through a couple of days at least, which means I have to plan my baking for the next two weeks to get this all done and ready to go.