Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be Like Dwight

You probably aren't aware, but this past spring we decided to become beet farmers. (Also: chard gardeners, but I don't have pictures of the chard, so I'll just talk about beets here.)

Following in the footsteps of all our favorite Office character, we planted a million tiny beet seeds and then waited and waited and mulched and watered and waited for our lovely baby beets to grow up. And then they did! They grew! And we promptly plucked them and sliced them and roasted them and ate them.

Mmmm. Baby beets & greens.

And then the novelty wore off and The Office was on summer break and so we left the rest of the beets to the wild of the garden for months. However, this past weekend fast-approaching cold weather forced us to take action and harvest them.

We had vast variations in size at our harvest. That one on the left up there, maybe a golf ball size. The middle one is more of what you'd see in a supermarket. The one on the right? HUGE. Like, a small bunny rabbit size. Or maybe a loaf of bread size. I suspect a more uniform crop would be a sign we knew what we were doing, but oh well. It was kind of fun to first pull a monster-sized beet, then a few that were basically just leaves, then a few regular beets and then another large one. (Okay, fun might be pushing it, but at least it wasn't boring.)

Once the beets are unearthed the real fun begins. You get to cut the tops from the roots and rinse off the greens (unless you like grit and/or live earwigs and/or dead spiders in your food. And you might, that's your prerogative) and saute them with onions and garlic in olive oil for a fabulous and simple side dish. 

De-spidered and ready for cooking! 

You can also brush-up on your Russian (or Romanian or Polish or Prussian or Armenian or Chinese) food history while you stir a triple batch of Whole Beet Borscht.

Tastes way better than it looks here

Or you can talk about colors with your toddler while eating Russian Salad (which, I understand, isn't actually something you will necessarily find in Russia).

Carrots, potatoes, beets, peas...

Food gardening. I do enjoy it. Providing your family's meals from food gathered in your own backyard has its rewards. But perhaps next year we might grow something other than just chard and beets. (Sorry, Dwight.)


Lauren @ Hobo Mama October 6, 2010 at 10:37 PM  

That's what our carrot harvest was like, too: itty-bitty next to huge and gnarly. I must say I love me some borscht, but not so much the red pee...

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