Earthy Sweet Beets! (225th new thing).

December 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

I have really been into beets lately. My mom ate pickled beets and something (I can’t remember what) sandwiches as I was growing up and I remember looking at her over my own concoction of kraft singles and ketchup on bread and thinking how weird she was. I mean, beets look like some bloody piece of perfectly round meat. I may have even lumped the root vegetable into the meat category at a young age. Mince meat and beets joined chicken and beef in the middle of the food pyramid.

It all changed about a year ago, when I tried a roasted beet at the Bookhouse one random evening. And it was pretty tasty. Earthy, red, and tender, with a sweetness to it. I was intrigued.

Since that first tasting, I have had beets sparingly, maybe offered on a salad or as a small side, a handful of times at most. Until Day Two Hundred Twenty-Five, when I decided that I would use a canning kit I had bought a few months earlier and pickle my own beets. Surely it would be easy enough, and would be a brilliant progression from the less ambitious activity of eating pickled okra.

But I stumbled. Patrick and I went grocery shopping, me whole-heartedly intending to buy beets and pickling salt and anything else my pickled beets recipe called for. The problem was that the beets at the store were expensive. And there were nowhere near the 5lbs I needed for my recipe. Plus, they looked really strange, with long onion stalks. What do you do with those?? I guess I had never seen a real live beet before, or at least noticed how one looked.

I still bought the pickling salt and any other items I may have needed, but I left the beets in their wilted grocery-shelf state. Instead I bought a jar of pickled beets. It was much more affordable and a lot less work. I thought about other activities I might accomplish once I got home with my jar of pickled beets, but instead I stood leaning gainst the counter, a fork in hand, plucking pieces of the earthy red vegetable out of its jar and popping them into my mouth.

I gave Patrick a forkful too. He had a mixed reaction to the flavor, and then two minutes later came back for more. Maybe that’s part of the appeal. Beets seem to taste strange at first, but like anything good in life, you soon have a taste for more. Or it could just be the saltiness of the pickling solution mixed with the sweetness of the root makes for a yummy combination. Either way, I may have been beeten by the vegetable.


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