Thursday, May 29, 2008


For some odd reason I've developed this rampant craving for red beets over the past couple years. Growing up, my mom, aunts, and grandmas always canned and froze veggies and fruits. One of the treats was pickled red beets. I always thought my mom's pickled beets were pretty good, but it's only been the past couple years that I've actually developed CRAVINGS for them - funny how tastes change as we get older.

Last summer I was able to coerce her into putting up about 25 jars for me. I have a secret stash of beets hidden away in a dark corner of our pantry - does that make me weird? This summer I plan on learning the art of canning with her. This is a part of my heritage - my mom's side of the family is Mennonite - I want to be able to pass this tradition down, even if I don't routinely put up bushels and bushels of produce.

Currently my favorite way to eat beets is in hunks on top of a nice big Greek salad. Here's the simple run-down (you can't beat this after a long day at work):
  • Lettuce (romaine or red work nicely)
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet Pepper (bell or banana)
  • LOTS of Tomatoes (I am a tomato freak)
  • Fresh Mint and Oregano
  • Pickled Beets
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Dressing - Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Dried Oregano, Basil, Salt, and Pepper
This whole long discussion about my beet fetish brings me back to the garden. I planted some Cylindra red beets back in March. Like my carrots, they sprouted well and are currently looking beautiful - their floppy thick leaves are a nice dark green with purpley veins, but I'm not seeing much of a root peeping through the soil. There are small knots, but nothing that actually looks like a BEET yet. Again, my concern may be due to impatience - or to the fact that I'm a worry-er by nature. I'm determined to be optimistic about everything I plant this year. And if it turns out that half of the crops are a flop, well, at least I learned something, right?

Here are some pictures:

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