Before our European ancestors discovered pumpkins growing in the New World, they were carving faces in turnips and putting candles inside them. It’s a holiday tradition that dates back thousands of years. In recent decades, pumpkins have supplanted turnips in almost all corners of turnip-carving Europe, but it still hangs on, in spots.
I’d never carved a turnip, and decided it was time to give it a try. I used X-acto blades for the cutting, and a clay working tool to hollow out the turnip.
It’s certainly more challenging than carving a pumpkin, but a turnip jack-o’-lantern comes out looking about the same, just on a smaller scale.