Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Win: carrot & turnip mash

The circles I follow within the blogosphere have been talking a lot about one thing, lately: how to navigate the early(ish) years of a relationship and newly married life in relation to the holidays. The give and take, the things that you do just to make your significant other happy, the things you miss out on - and sometimes the things you gain.

In Bunny and my holiday scheme, I have an urge to shout out "I WIN!" Because for the most part we do have the easiest holidays ever. The only thing that separates his mom's front door from my mom's front door is a driveway, so we bumble over here and there all the time. Our first year we really did our holidays separately but met up on the drive every hour on the hour, and both spent some time with each other's family. We've since moved to primarily spending different days with one family or the other, but we do see them both fairly equally. Both our parents are super understanding, and we also have to be respectful of his sister, brother-in-law and neice's holiday plans, so the flexibility comes easily.

That's not what I mean by "I WIN" though. What I mean, is I get all the best benefits. I grew up with big extended family on my father's side, and would spend large chunks of time over the holiday travelling for family dinner after family dinner, seeing a million cousins and aunts and uncles. Ever since the divorce, though, and other messiness, I don't get that. The closest relationship I have on that side of the family occurs on Facebook. My mom's family (grandma, aunt, cousin) all come down for the holidays, but it's not a super festive big exciting thing.

I get a big family gathering back, though, with Bunny's Dutch side. This is only the second year that I've gone, but I do feel very welcomed into the fold there. Win. I love the extra love there.

There's another holiday win, though, that comes from his mother's kitchen. I think the first time I had this was a couple of Thanksgivings ago, when we all (and by all, I mean BOTH our families) piled into Bunny's living room to eat. It was better than the mashed potatoes ... and for me to say that is something else.

Mama Bunny's Carrot & Turnip Mash
a rough approximation of Bunny's mom's recipe

Ingredients:
  • Carrots - 1 to 2 cups, peeling and roughly chopped
  • Turnip - 1 to 2 cups, peeled and roughly chopped
    • Note: very the amount of vegetables based on your audience. I make 1 cup each carrots & turnip if I'm only feeding Bunny and myself, plus leftovers
    • I like to use equal portions carrots and turnip, but if you prefer to load up on one over the other go for it!
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Butter or Margarine - 2-3 tbsp (or to taste)
Directions:
  1. Prep your vegetables. Peel, cut into pieces roughly the same size. Dump vegetables into large pot, cover with salted water. Bring to the boil.
  2. Boil approximately 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain water. (If making a gravy or sauce, set some of this aside. Vegetable water adds a little more "oomph" to gravies.)
  3. Add butter to the pan, and then MASH away. If you prefer you can always use a blender or processor to make it super smooth, but I like my carrot and turnip to be a little bit chunky.
  4. When thoroughly mashed, taste. Add more salt or butter as necessary.
  5. Enjoy! They don't replace mashed potatoes, but they're easily as good.
Also, leftover mash is amazing when mixed with breadcrumbs & parmesan and fried up. In fact, it's maybe even better than the original.

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