Once again, I must re-consider my association with anything beet-y. Beets, argh. Think peeling any beet is hard, trying peeling tiny, “baby” beets; the ordeal only lessened by the appearance of my mother who stepped in to help finish. When we finished, dressed with melted butter and a bit of lime, we had one bowl of crap. Earlier in 2009, these beets would have made me proud to be associated with the Local Beet. Last night, I cursed the beet.
I stay only because it was not truly the fault of those babies. I could blame it on Mother Nature who has not kept my root cellar in the sky cold enough, but really it is no one’s fault. Food storage remains an art not a science. A matter not of technique but of exactitude. The best of stored food only lasts so long. This is our third winter of storing food to enable local eating. We did not do well in year one, especially because we used the basement canning room, not the cooler attic. Last year we did not so much as run out of food as have a diet long in onions and potatoes about this time of year. This year we find ourselves with too much food. By the time we get to items, like a bag of orange beets, we find them no good. A proud Local Beet contributor should eat his beets earlier.
I should have known before even trying. The beets re-sprouted, a good sign no? The greens coming off the beets demonstrated the vigor and vitality within these roots. Proof that they held up fine in the attic. Or did they. The beets on first taste, tasted sweet and good. That taste dissipated into flavors woody and woolly. My mom finished her portion, perhaps in respect to the work she did. The rest of us left our orange orbs in pools of congealing butter. Good thing we also had some broccoli stems and red peppers from the freezer.