RECIPE: Potato Turbate

cuffs054July 12, 2005

Anyone who grew up in central FL in the 50's and 60's must remember this school lunch staple. Does anyone have a recipe?

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I found it! Seems alot like shepards pie. Who knew!
Recipe: Potato Turbate. Potato Turbate 6 servings instant mashed potatoes 1 pound ground beef 3 level tablespoons chopped onion 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup beef bouillon 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine Paprika

Prepare instant potatoes according to package directions.

Brown ground meat lightly; drain off fat. Add onions and seasoning. Cook 5 minutes longer. Add flour; mix well with meat mixture. Stir and scrape bottom of pan. Add bouillon to meat and spoon into greased casserole. Spread mashed potatoes over meat. Brush potatoes with melted butter and dust lightly with paprika. Bake at 400 degrees until brown on top, about 25 minutes.

Patricia Sandage of St. Petersburg prepares a deluxe version with homemade mashed potatoes instead of instant.

Carol Hartman of Largo tops the meat with a thick layer of American cheese before adding the mashed potatoes.

Alice Black of St. Petersburg mixes 2 tablespoons flour with the meat, then adds 1 cup bouillon and 1 (1-pound) can drained green beans to the meat mixture.

Faye Schmelig of Palm Harbor adds green beans (drained 1-pound can) and a can of condensed tomato soup (instead of the bouillon) to the meat mixture. Recipe requests

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:43AM
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Who knew it was called Potato Turbate? What the heck is "turbate" anyway?

My recipe for this is aptly called "meat 'n' potatoes" but I never had it in school.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 12:11PM
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I went to school in St. Petersburg, FL in the 60's and they frequently served potato turbate. I used to make it at home, but I can't find the recipe. I think my recipe called for browned ground beef, onion, salt and parsley with the mashed potatoes over that and butter and paprika on top. I can't believe it was a "regional" dish!! My sister was asking me for the recipe also. It was a staple in our household!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:51PM
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Thanks for the recipe! Brought back great memories.

Turbate is Italian for upset as in up-side-down. Gravy on the bottom potatoes on top...hmmmm...kinda makes sense.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 3:18PM
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I grew up in South Florida in the 60's and never heard of a turbate. Sounds like a car part huh? *smile*

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Did any of you St. Pete people go to "Sunshine Elem" in Pass-a-Grille?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:25AM
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My brother and I went to Pinellas County Schools, and we both remember Potato Turbate well. We both HATED it! (I see now that they give kids menu options: not so back then.) Looking at the recipe today, it doesn't look so bad. HOWEVER, I think the cooks back at Sandy Lane Elementary in the '70s ignored the part that says "drain off fat" as well as the part that says "season." It was always so greasy and so devoid of seasoning!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:46PM
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My wife and I thought it was pretty good relative to the overall menu at Oak Grove Junior High in Clearwater. I remember them occasionally feeding us Beef Turbate instead of potato. It was mushier. Since we didn't know what turbate meant, we were sure they were hiding something sinister in there.

Is Carol Hartman related to Kathy Hartman from off 66th Street in Largo?

Here is a link that might be useful: Gabriel's Hill Bed & Breakfast

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 5:43PM
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When teaching at the high school level, my classroom was on the third floor.

Ahhhhhhhhh the aroma from the lunchroom, sent you scrambling down the stairs, ONLY, to find the aroma was weiners served on mashed potatoes with red gravy.

Needless to say, teachers and students met across the street, in the "off grounds" store for coke and crackers.
No one snitched on the other for trespassing.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:59PM
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Revjatb, just to prove "you can never go home again", I decided to try some Chef BoyArdee, "raviollios" for lunch because they were a staple when I was growing up. My palate certainly has changed!!!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:49PM
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My niece just inquired whether I know what Potato Turbate is...little does her little 10 year old heart know but it's been a favorite of school children in Pinellas County since her father and I attended Plumb Elementary back in the 60's and at Belcher Elementary before that...Plumb being where she now attends school! Little has changed, mashed potatoes, ground beef, maybe cheese on top or paprika depending on the day and it was the BEST! Even at Oak Grove Middle School the Turbate reigned supreme as a school favorite. So we will go to the grocery this afternoon and gather the ingredients for her to make her first dinner for her family...what a surprise is in store, her Dad will be thrilled to enjoy this childhood favorite again with her and she will find her first attempt to make dinner will be a rousing success! What about Bologna "Boats" and Johnny Marzetti people.....better known as fried bologna with mashed potato's plopped in the middle and goulash.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 12:05PM
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54th Ave Elementary served this. Hamburgar on the bottom, potatos on top. Nothing fance. My Mom would just take mashed potatoes and cooked beef and mix then together in the same pot. Later my own family added corn. It is, to this day, a family favorite and still called Potato Turbae. Never seen as Turbate until now and being in elementary school in the 60's I can pretty much gaurantee that if that was how it was spelled we would have added a "d" mid way through and had a hay day joking about that. LOL

I saw the recipes on here but I don't remember the school version having onions or anything else other than flavoring and the mashed potatoe on top. Nothing fancy. I didn't like garnish so I would have remembered that. Maybe it was just the way 54th Ave. Elementary served it. :o)

Funny to find out it was a Pinellas county schools recipe. I keep imagining some kitchen supervisor saying "So what if we don't have this and that to make Shepards pie... just throw the beef in and cover it with potatoes. These kids will never know the difference." LOL


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 3:27PM
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I remember having this in grammar & high school in Southern California in the 40's.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 10:27PM
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Hey I had this growing up in Catholic schools in Minnesota... It was pretty good on cold winter days...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:41AM
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I went to Pinellas Park junior high and Dixie Hollins high, it was indeed called potato turdbate, by al the student body. Hated it, but I do think the cooks in those schools, went by the same rules as revjatb's no seasoning and more grease than a lube job! LOL


    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 9:10AM
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potato turbate and sheppards pie are the same sheppards pie is what the britts and the damn yankees call it but us true south of the mason dixon crackers grew up knowing it as potato turbate

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Madeira Beach Elementary & Jr. High - 1959 to 1967. I brought the recipe home to my mom from Mrs. Gill, the school cook. Her daughter Diana was my friend. She called it Potato Turbate. Hamburger with a little sauce, & mashed potatoes with paprika on top. Now my fellow cafeteria eaters - What was the dish with the mashed potatoes on the bottom & the hamburger in sauce on the top? I know it had a different name, but can't remember. Loved the taste either way, just 'turbated'. LOL I think we'll have it for dinner tonight, seriously.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:42PM
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