How to Carve a Turnip Lantern

Just a week to go until Hallowe’en! We have been busy visiting pumpkin patches, picking pumpkins and carving pumpkin lanterns. But as I mentioned in my post from a wee while back, about the Celtic origins of Hallowe’en, it’s actually turnips that were traditionally carved in to lanterns in Scotland. Having sustained quite a few turnip carving related injuries in my days, I have to admit I quite welcome the introduction of the much softer pumpkin.

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But once in a while, I do like to go back and carve out a turnip – to introduce the boys to their traditional Scottish roots if nothing else – so I thought I’d share my experience here. On my last turnip carving, I managed not to break any tools nor to stab myself with any sharp implements, though I did silently swear a lot and I didn’t have much feeling in my hands for a couple of hours after. But I did it!

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The internet suggests that a melon scoop would have been the most helpful implement for this task, but failing to have one in our repertoire of kitchen tools, I made do with an ice cream scoop which did make the job a little bit easier (don’t even bother trying to use any of those plastic pumpkin carving kits that get handed out at this time of year, they will splinter in seconds).

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Turnips are quite fickle little things too – as hard as they are to hollow out, once you’e reduced them to a shell, you’ll cut through them like butter. Hence the slight ‘eye injury’ on my little turnip lantern. But I was NOT going to start over again. Anyway, if you’ve ever thought about carving a turnip lantern, you have been warned! It looks much cuter than a pumpkin lantern though, you have to admit.

How about you? Do you like to carve lanterns at Hallowe’en? And if so, are you #TeamPumpkin or #TeamTurnip? 

5 Comments on How to Carve a Turnip Lantern

  1. Karen Legge
    23 October 2019 at 4:18 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Jenni Fuchs It looks fab. As a child I used to carve potatoes and line them up along the garden wall. They were chargrilled by the end of hallowe’en! I’ll have to give a turnip a go. Do you use the scoopings for anything?

    Reply
    • Jenni
      23 October 2019 at 10:55 pm (4 weeks ago)

      Yes, we mashed the scoopings and had haggis, neeps and tatties!

      Reply
  2. Sarah Howe
    23 October 2019 at 7:48 pm (4 weeks ago)

    I have to admit it does look a lot cuter! I would have never thought about doing this. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  3. Tracey Kifford
    23 October 2019 at 11:28 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Well I’ve never carved a turnip before – but may well give it a go this year. We usually have pumpkins grow wild in our garden, but not this year … so it depends if I buy a pumpkin or we do a family of turnips instead?!!

    Reply
  4. Anosa
    28 October 2019 at 6:27 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Oh wow, I am loving this, never thought about carving a turnip lantern, I want to give this a try.

    Reply

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