Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chapter Two – And then there were BEETS!

The beets came from Will’s Aunt & Uncle’s really big garden just outside of Albany.

As excited as I was, I had no idea what to do with them until his cousin told me to roast them like potatoes. Roasted beets!?!? How very sophisticated that sounded! Especially to someone like me who is easily impressed.

(And just so you all know – I keep typing beAts. Ummm…yeah.)

I’ve had plenty of beets in my day. Just open the can! We always ate them dressed with oil & vinegar. Tasty, but now…it seemed mundane. If it doesn’t to you, by all means, give it a try – just a little olive oil, red wine vinegar & a pinch of this & that. (In my world, “this & that” equals garlic salt & basil.)

But this time there would be no can. This time? This time there would be roasting.

After a good soaking (beets are dirty!), I trimmed off the greens. Aunt Phyllis did tell me that I could cook the greens but they were looking a bit wilty. So I nixed that for now – there was plenty of excitement already!

While the oven was getting itself up to 400, I got to the peeling & cubing. (Look how pretty they are!)

Olive oil, salt & pepper were added & then because I can’t leave well enough alone…a few shakes of a bouquet garni herb blend. Why? Well, I really don’t know. For some reason, I was feeling very European about the beets. DON’T LAUGH.

Then I covered the dish tightly with foil & stuffed them in the oven. After 45 minutes or so, I uncovered them but they stayed in for about another half hour.

The verdict…Will loved the beets. Loved them! He kept telling me how good they were. I desperately wanted to love the beets. I kept eating them & thinking “this will be the bite where I love the beets.” That didn’t so much happen.

The beets were just Ok. I think that I may have overstepped with herb sprinkling – but it seemed so harmless at the time. They had a bit of a bitterness that I couldn’t account for otherwise.

On the other hand, they did have a great deal of sweetness – kind of like sweet potatoes - which I am going to try to play off of next time. Yes, there will be a next time. I didn’t hate the beets – I just don’t think I did them any justice. I am going to look for some recipes – or I may treat them more like sweet potatoes rather than regular ones. I promise I will keep you all posted.

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