Monday, July 06, 2009

Beet it!

No, this isn't a misspelled tribute to Michael Jackson.

It's my apology to beets . . .

I cooked my very first fresh beets tonight and they were muy delicioso! How fresh were they, you ask? Freshly plucked from the Tub O Grub just minutes before I plunged them into boiling water.

It doesn't get much fresher than that!

They were baby beetlets, perfectly sized for instant gratification. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I knew enough to slip the outer skin of the crimson orb before popping it in my mouth.

Mmmmmmmm . . . beet heaven!

I got off on the wrong culinary foot with beets early in my childhood. I still remember the day I tasted my first pickled beet. It was at a family gathering and someone had loaded my plate with typical holiday fare. I was excited to see the bright red slices carefully arranged between the mashed potatoes and green beans. I loved my great-grandma's candied apple rings and thought momentarily about saving them for dessert.

My sweet tooth won out and I crammed an entire slice in my little mouth, red juice dribbling down my chubby chin. Before I started chewing, however, my taste buds alerted me to the fact that something was seriously wrong. And I gagged and spit the nasty mess onto my plate.

No amount of scolding or threats of dessert-withholding could persuade me to take another bit of my Aunt Tilly's prized pickled beets. In my little head, the experience was akin to taking a big gulp of what you thought was lemonade, but having it turn out to be sea water instead. I vowed to never eat beets again.

Thankfully, that vow has been broken! Beets are packed with nutrients--vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, etc. (although I just read that the tops that I just threw away have 3 times the nutrients as the root! Who knew?)

And my husband loves them . . . I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees what's for supper tonight!