Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beets, a nutritional vegetable and great memories

Beets are a new vegetable for us this year. Well, we have planted beets before, but we really did not have enough to do anything with. But -- this year we have had enough fresh beets to cook for a couple of meals. I am not sure I have found the best recipe for cooking them. I just stewed them in a little water and added salt, pepper and a little butter.

I know we will grow them next year but I will be on the lookout for new ways to prepare them. I think pickled beets might be a great idea, and I would like to find new side dish recipes. Because of the deep color, I am sure beets are nutritional gold -- a healthy thing to add to my diet.

Years back, I spent a couple of years in the Red River Valley of the North, one of the most fertile farming areas in the world. The first year we were there during harvest time, the roads were swarming with huge dump trucks filled with sugar beets.

There was a sugar beet factory very close to where we lived and the dump trucks carried so many loads of sugar beets that the roads were littered with beets falling from the trucks on the way to the factory.

The piles of beets outside the factory looked like small mountain ranges. As I went to work each day I passed the factory and watched as front end loaders constantly transferred the diminishing piles of beets to the factory for processing. It is an experience I will never forget.

The beets were very large and mostly white -- and white on the inside.

I know my beets aren't the same variety, but I think of those sugar beets every time I grow or eat beets of any color. If you know of a great beet recipe, I would love to try it.

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