The beautiful root vegetable called beet also carries buttery tasting greens.
Bearing good beets
It's as he is nearing the parking lot that Aaron realizes God's inherent value is reflected in the fact that there are so many doors to choose from. Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Beets are out of style in country towns such as ours. I knew by virtue of an informal survey that I took. “No, I don't eat beets - ever,” was a standard response.
I called three grocery stores in the county. Only one chain operation carried beets. “Is anyone around these parts still eating beets” I asked. “Someone is eating them; I just reordered,” replied a produce manager. Things were looking up.
My CSA farmer, John Dysinger, said initially they were timid about investing in beets. “We understood that today, beets are among the least loved vegetables, but it turns out that our customers love them,” he said and noted that a salad mixed with roasted beets appears to be in fashion.
In fact these days, many chef owned restaurants in the big city sport beet inspired dishes. However, chain restaurants generally do not go for for such an ingredient.
I cannot guess why. Beets keep for 2 months in the refrigerator and are quite budget friendly at a $1.50 per serving.
Delicious as beets are at a slim 58 calories per serving, I can only suppose that they do not lug enough calories for today's palate. We seem to prefer tasteless entrees having lost our ability to savor. A researched headline from our era could reveal - “Mass Murder Of The Taste Bud: Genetic Wipe Out Via Incessant Marketing Of Empty Calories”.
Heartbreaking - there was a time when food was food. A quick trip to see Bob Duncan at the Maury County Archives yielded proof by way of menu from The Bethel House Coffee Shop. At lunchtime on March 25, 1937, one could pull up a chair and have a “Roasted Young Lamb with Salad, Fresh Turnips and Greens and Sour Beets” - all for 50 cents.
Chances are somebody in the vicinity produced the ingredients for such a meal. Some folks still do, like retired banker and garden hobbyist Oneill Moore. He recently gave me a handful of exquisite beets in red and gold. Considering Oneill's neat row of beet greens, I think I'll subsidize a tiny crop of my own this fall.
The particularness of beets bear the requirements of a cool season and steady moisture. “I have no special insight on growing beets,” says Oneill. One thing he likes to do when planting them is to cover with something like Promix and put a double layer of burlap over that. He says, “Keep it moist, check under the burlap every day and remove it as soon as the plants start coming up.”
Certainly this is the sort of nurtured creation that could regenerate a body and besides, our neglected palettes await.