Friday, April 20, 2007

Dr. Strangeroot or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Beets

As I implied in a previous post, Karen is not someone you would call the biggest fan of beets. Her virulent dislike of this root vegetable stems from an incident in her youth when she and her brothers were involved in a dinner-time Mexican standoff with her parents over a plate of beets.

Ah, but how times change! Today, I received the following email:

From: Karen
To: Karen's family
Subject: My horrible yet true confession

I have a confession to make. Last Friday, I went to the Old Oakland Farmers' Market and (of my own free will and volition) bought a bunch of yellow beets. I am not entirely sure what came over me. Years of refusal to eat the vile root vegetable suddenly melted away. Perhaps it was a recent yellow beet recipe I saw that looked delicious. For the first time, I began to think of beets as an edible possibility worth seeking out and buying. It didn't hurt that not only did I not gag, but even enjoyed the small bit of beets I had at a recent dinner at Manresa. One of the dishes on the tasting menu was smoked sturgeon over red thumb potatoes and beets.

Earlier this week, after coming to terms with the beets I had brought home, I actually made them. I roasted them with some salt, pepper, olive oil, and rosemary. Once cooked and cooled, I threw a splash of basalmic vinegar on top. The initial bites brought back brief memories of that beet taste I so despised in the past. I mean, the beets were OK but they still tasted like beets. I think I didn't let them cool enough before eating. Yet as the flavors melded and I ate some more the following day, I realized they weren't too bad. In fact, they tasted like a sweeter version of roast potatoes (with tons more nutrients).

After decades of recovery, I think I am finally able to deal with my beet issues. I still recall (with horror) the awful beet experience of our childhood. But I think beets and I may just be able to co-exist.

Will I cook and eat beets again? - Probably
Will I do so on a regular basis? - Probably not


Her brother Jon replied almost immediately to this email with the following comeback:
You are going against everything the beet revolution stood for. We did not have a sit-in at the dinner table 20 years ago for you to betray the cause. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I was just talking about this occurrence with one of my colleagues two days ago. He talked about his absolute dislike for asparagus (which I really like) and that got me going about my hatred (possibly unfounded) of beets.

To think, my twin, not long before our shared birthday, has given up the fight. Maybe it is that crazy weather in San Fran that's done it to you. "You've changed Dutch, you've changed..."

Your disillusioned twin,

For some reason, I'm seeing visions of Slim Pickens on top of a giant yellow beet, riding it like some bronco-busting cowboy, whooping and hollering as he falls into oblivion.


Tesha said...

that is hilarious! I hope she knows what she is doing toying with the beets... of any color. Yellow is so menacing. it looks gentle and sweet, but alas, it is still a beet.