This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Wash and pare the turnips, cut them into slices crosswise; put them into a saucepan, cover with boiling water, and boil until tender (about thirty minutes). When done, drain in a colander, pressing lightly to squeeze out all the water; then mash fine, add butter, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Or, mix with an equal quantity of hot mashed potatoes.
Pare six small turnips and cut them into dice; put into a saucepan, cover with boiling water, and boil for thirty minutes. When the turnips are nearly done, make a cream sauce, and stand over the tea kettle to keep warm. Drain the turnips in a colander, turn them carefully into a vegetable dish, pour the cream sauce over them, and serve.
Pare the turnips, cut in slices crosswise, and boil as directed in preceding recipe. Drain in a colander. Put two table-spoonfuls of butter in a frying-pan; when hot, add the turnips and one tablespoonful of granulated sugar; stir and turn carefully until the slices are nicely browned; dust with salt and pepper, and serve.
Ruta-bagas are much more solid than the common white turnips, and may be cooked and served according to the recipes given for turnips.
Wash a quarter-peck of turnip tops in cold water; put them into a kettle, cover with boiling water, and boil twenty minutes; add a tablespoonful of salt when they are half done. Drain in a colander. Serve in a vegetable dish, garnished with slices of hard-boiled eggs.