July 2, 2007 – The Unheralded Beet

Beets are a lot like the sanitary sewer system – they live underground, people don’t think much about them,  But the analogy only remains true so long.  When the sanitary sewer stops working, people take notice – there probably wouldn’t be much of an uproar if the beets disappeared from the grocery shelves.  But the beet is sweet and tangy all at once.  A good portion of granulated sugar comes from beets – 30% of worldwide granulated sugar comes from beets.

Today we put a few beets up. Martin helped harvest with his tractor and wagon. It was a good outdoor kitchen project.

I saved the tops and blanched and chopped them for borscht – one of my grandfather’s staples – the great thing about borscht is that it is just as good cold as warm. We thought my grandfather ate the same pot of borscht all week. The original pot would last for a few days, then as the days wore on, he’d throw some pork in, maybe some potatoes or turnips, maybe some chicken broth to make it last another day. I don’t know whether it is because of this, or that my people have eaten beets for a long time, but as I was cooking and freezing the beets and tops, I couldn’t resist constantly snacking.

And beets have a place in fiction, as I imagine a few people have had beets anonomously left on their front doorstep (ala Jitterbug Perfume).

As I was skinning the beets of their rough skin and revealing the smooth, blood red flesh below, Figaro (the cat) played with the trimmings, perhaps confused with the apperent dripping blood and dangling long mouse-like tail of the taproot.

one year ago…