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Turnip Purry

Turnip Purry, or mashed turnip, is good by itself or with most meats. Pare off all the woody or stringy parts with the skins of some turnips or swedes. Boil them in unsalted water for an hour, or, if they are old, two hours. Drain, and mash well with a wooden spoon, passing them through a sieve if you have the energy. Put the mash back in the stew-pan and warm up with fresh butter, black and white pepper, and salt. Stir in some cream before serving. To be truly Scottish the turnips ought also to have the addition of a very little powdered ginger, and even less powdered sugar.

Island Of Coll Turnips. Even in isolated places new knowledge was being put to good use, though not, without a certain amount of opposition. Dr Johnson's observation on his visit to the island of Coll (1773) is of interest in this respect:

"Young Coll, who has a very laudable desire of improving his patrimony, purposes some time to plant an orchard; which, if it be sheltered by a wall, may perhaps succeed. He has introduced the culture of turnips, of which he has a field, where the whole work was performed by his own hand. His intention is to provide food for his cattle in the winter. This innovation was considered by Mr Macsewyn as the idle project of a young head, heated with English fancies; but he has now found that turnips will really grow, and that hungry sheep and cows will really eat them."

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