Beets

freeimage-8484101-highI have an old Russian book on herbal remedies that tells of an application of beets and yogurt on the face that gives one a youthful blush. My mother is Ukrainian, and it goes without saying that beets were a common part of our diet. I did try the stuff on my cheeks and turned pink all right. I think it was due to an allergic reaction.
My sisters and I tolerated beet borscht, but we were not keen on boiled beets. I remember my exasperated father looming large over us as we poked at them on our plates, yelling: “Just eat your beets!”
Mom never wasted any part of the beet. If we wouldn’t eat the root, then we would eat the leaf, and this we did quite enthusiastically, after carefully wrapping them around a small finger of dough to make what we
called dog bones. One simply baked them, smothered them in fresh dill and
onions fried in butter, and dipped them in sour cream. You couldn’t even
taste the leaf. My children love these dog bones (although we have the neighbors wondering what the heck we’re feeding our children) however, when they were young, like their mother and aunties before them, they
were not keen on the beets themselves.
One day when I had cooked a batch of beets for my husband, and myself I noticed that the water left over was a deep, inviting shade of purple.
Rather like grape juice.
An idea was born.
Everyone knows that vegetable water is packed with vitamins and
minerals. I just put a bit of sugar in the beet juice, added some vitamin C crystals (I figured that C gets destroyed by the heat) and made popsicles. It might have worked, except Greg, for the first time ever, decided to have a Popsicle with the kids. I guess the purple shade was more inviting than I thought.
While our four year old twins slurped and gobbled happily, my husband
slowly looked up from his frozen treat and said: “OK. This isn’t
grape juice.”
“Right”
“So what is it?” he demanded.
I hedged, hoping he’d eat more. “Does it taste good?”
“It tastes – different. What did you put in there?”
“Beets,” I replied calmly.
“Right. Hon – tell me. I need to know.”
My husband quit there and then. Seven-year-old Alex, who had been listening intently, made an admirable swan dive, clutching his throat and landing upon the floor, purple popsicle at his side. The twins slurped their way right to the last drop, which made me at least feel justified. I presented my case to my husband. They tasted fine. They were packed with healthy stuff and were completely organic. His defense?
“Next thing you know you’ll be feeding us brussels sprout cake
with cabbage icing. No. I will not eat them – on principal.”
When children grow up their tastes don’t change. Their excuses
get more sophisticated.
Just eat your beets.

One response to “Beets

  1. Great idea! Gets my creative (beet) juices going. Hmmm … boil it down and use it to colour cake icing for hubby. Or dip in a Q-tip and use it as an antiseptic to eradicate his jam toe. Vodka, lime, soda and a dash of beet juice? Don’t give up – you can win this one yet.

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