Saturday, August 2, 2008

Beets


I'm not a big fan. Mom would pickle up a bunch of beets. We kids had to eat them. In my distant memory I can hear her saying "President Nixon says you have to eat everything on your plate." No option of saying "No Mom, thanks, no beets for me tonight." If that had been an option I would have avoided many a slab of beef liver and hogshead cheese.
I would have a pickled beet sitting on my white plate, its dark red juice advancing on the boiled potatoes I had just mashed, pats of butter melting into the fork tracks. I don't think anyone else in the family except Mom liked them but she kept on making them. I was always wondering why not use those Ball canning jars for more dill pickles? Or pickled eggs. Mom likes beets. She was in charge of the garden, did the cooking, controlled what went on the table so we got beets. She'd boil them, too. That would mellow out their colors a bit but there was still this earthy beet smell about them. Can you saute' them, make into beet tempura? Is there any way to make them taste good besides masking their beetiness in a soup?

I bought some beets today at the Grand Army Farmers Market. I believe that your sense of taste changes as you grow older so make a point of going back and trying things I didn't like in the past. Eggplant, zucchini, Chardonnay, your turns are coming.

6 comments:

Melissa said...

I am also not a fan of the Beet. the texture is my issue - I find the color lovely - but just can't bear the feel of the fibrous yet smushy bitter stuff.
However. I think that a roasted beet experience had this weekend fixed my beet issues.
Oh - and I really like a hearty beef borscht at Velselka's http://www.veselka.com- yum. But, I guess that falls into the covering the beetiness up in soup category.

Sam Teigen said...

Beets are great. I love them, especially with goat cheese. I also think of Tom Robbins and Jitterbug perfume. He muses on the fiery vibrancy of the beet, and imagines what kind of composer might begin with beet....

Sam Teigen said...

ps... you'll eventually want to moderate your comments to, um, stem comment spam.

Greg said...

I must confess my only experience with beets is with the canned variety from childhood (I was more bugged by the way they stained the other foods than the taste, I think)...oh and maybe a cold beet salad somewhere along the line.

I guess I have something of a taste for them, but I've never grown them before...and it occurs that it has been too long since I last had some at dinner.

Hmmm...perhaps I'll try some in next summer's garden.

Stuart SB said...

Ho,
Beets are a terrific source of iron and sure taste a whole lot better than drops of Ferrus Sulfate, especially if you make Harvard Beets (amazing what a little brown sugar will do.) I think it's important to have a basic element in your diet, and how lucky we all are that it tastes so good. I also think that we should be thankful that Iron comes in such a maleable form. We could, for instance, be glazing pieces of meteorite with brown sugar- wouldn't your dentist love that.
Anyway, was thinking about having a BBQ next week you free?
Stuart

Frisael said...

Stuart,
Roasted some beets tonight - the ones in the pic - didn't nail them but think there may be something worthwhile there after all.
A BBQ next week sounds awesome.