Turnip jack-o-lantern!

Got any big gnarly turnips hanging out in your garden, or have you discovered one at the farmer’s market? Tired of carving pumpkins for Halloween? Historically minded? You may want to try a turnip jack-o-lantern!

Before pumpkins became the thing to make faces in, there was a long Celtic tradition of carving turnips – the largest vegetable available in the old country, I suppose. You can read some of the mythology behind this in the tale of Stingy Jack. Turnips take a bit more effort to carve than pumpkins, since the flesh is firmer – or so I hear, since I haven’t done it myself.

But my mom has! Here is the pictorial history of Lucy Edwards and her turnip jack-o-lantern.

Scarlet Ohno Revival Turnip – grown a bit large for eating
The harvested turnip
Prepared for carving – looks like a huge heart
The carving begins
Partly hollow inside – this saves time!
The finished product! Note how the stem bases are left for “hair”.
With a light placed underneath

Instructions for carving your own turnip are here. Or, if you like your advice in historical format, try this (and make sure you procure your turnip righteously and honestly).

The above turnip was spring-planted and grown in New Hampshire. Anyone here in MD managed to get a turnip to this size and keep it going till October?

One Comment on “Turnip jack-o-lantern!

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