Monday, July 19, 2010

Beets: Country Style

We had another lovely dinner yesterday courtesy of my sister-in-law Barb and her husband Bob. I'm so grateful to them for their compassion, generosity, and thoughtfulness as we are healing. Among the offerings in the kitchen was a side dish made of beets and onions. My entire family opted out but I found it cold, sweet, and delicious. I had 2 large helpings with dinner before leaving to pick wild blackberries at my brother-in-law's.

Kevin soon came by to take me home. He commented that Barb had sent me "some beets" with the other leftovers. Unpacking her food gifts at home I expected to see a neat little container of the beet dish among the leftover hot dogs, chili topping, and macaroni and cheese. Imagine my surprise when I unpacked the bag at home and found instead some large dirty lumps covered with dirt.

Now, I'm not that much of a city girl that I did not realize immediately that these were the beets. "What am I supposed to do with this?" I asked him. They looked like what I imagine excised tumors would. His response was the same as his sister's had been when I asked her if the dish had a lot of added sugar; "2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of vinegar."

Barb comes from a long line of women with a natural ability to cook. These are the women who give you recipes with ingredients like "some" sugar, "a bit" of oil or a "handful" of flour. They have been following recipes like this for generations and their food always comes out great. I am not one of these women. I need step by step instructions with exact measurements of what to add and when and how to do it.

So I called Barb up for the details. I could only smile and thank her when she said..."Boil the beets a bit, chop them up, put some onion in and add two parts sugar to one part vinegar. That'll do it."

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