Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Don't Eat Anything They'd Dye That Color

Just kidding. As an example of how far a person can come though -- I honestly didn't know beets were really that color. I thought they were something like maraschino cherries and dyed. Husband laughed and laughed at me (still does, just about different stuff) and introduced me to pickled beets.

Beets & Favas
Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

Today we pickled some beets. Only 5 pints, but hey. And that many beets also yielded me one mess of beet greens blanched for the freezer. Those were most of what was left of our spring beets, and we’ll hope for a good crop of fall beets. Others we ate raw mostly, and we left a few for that purpose. We have another, bigger, bed of yellow beets. I’ve never canned yellow beets before.

But what struck me was what a sensory experience it was. Beets are earthy, so there is that smell while peeling them. There is the “bleeding” they do on everything, and the thinking ahead about putting them into the porcelain instead of the wooden bowl. There’s the smell of the spices and vinegar. All that you expect.

What struck me anew though was the sheer visual beauty of the peeled beets. Beets are layered, have rings if you slice them through, so peeling them uncovers these layers unevenly, like that kind of scratch off the black wax to reveal the bright colors below kind of art. Some of them looked faceted. I admired each one then sliced it and put it in the pot.

Beet Rings
Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

The rest of the pickling juice we’ll use to do a jug of pickled eggs (it never comes out even). We pickled some pigs feet back when we did the hog. Looks like we’re doing good on red neck food!


Madcap said...

Have you ever dried beets? Every now and then I run across a reference to drying them, but I've never known anyone to do it. And I haven't found any recipes for them in that form either.

the Contrary Goddess said...

No, I haven't, but it's a thought. Wonder if they become a different vegetable like leather britches, or if you just use the powder to color things (I mean, it would work), or what.

eva said...

Oh, the beets! I love them and so does my husband. We have here only one shop that sells beets (all local stuff), so if we grow hungry, we know where to go.
We like soups and salads. I tried once beet soup with ginger. Pretty good! It makes also great Halloween soup - a bowl full of deep red liquid! Kids love t! :)
..but the stains...... :(

Ren said...

I remember a friend that was freaking out because her babies poop was all red and she thought something was terribly wrong. It was beets.

I think it would be fun to dye some fabric with veggies of various colors.:)

Ren said...

That should have read baby's, not babies. It was one child. I really need to go have a cuppa.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh, gosh ren, I see my typos and an appalled. But if people can't read through 'em, well, harsh sentiments toward them! LOL!