Monday, November 16, 2009


A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o'-lantern from the early 20th century. Photographed at the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.

Every year I wax nostalgic about using turnips in my haunt. And every year I pick one up in the produce section and am reminded that they're basically a block of purple-white wood. I tried to carve turnips one year and I'm shocked that it ever caught on in Ireland in the first place.

Sorry, Turnip.

Hello, Pumpkin.

Image source.


zoltan said...

Although I live in England and not Ireland, I remember carving turnips at Halloween, or rather trying to, they certainly are hard old things.

NoahFentz said...

I remember when Martha Stewart featured carved white pumpkins the first year of the magazine. I went searching everywhere to find them. Finally found 2. Those suckers are hard too. I expected it to be more like a pumpkin. Took forever to carve and my hand hurt.

Harold D said...

Even though I know it's true, old school Halloween, I've never seriously considered carving a turnip... although the one in the picture is cool looking. Kinda creepy.
It's a very non-traditional method, but you could use a rotary power tool (Dremel) with one of those special side-cutting drill bits. Those suckers will cut through just about anything.

sterayb said...

In UK when I was a kid it was easy to get turnips than pumpkins but a lot harder to carve out ,