Saturday, September 26, 2009

We got the beet

I'm not sure how to feel about our week of plus thirty temperatures... it is nice in some ways, but seems to portend of future water shortages and wacky growing seasons. Learning to simply accept what happens is something I need to work on. Chris Vester is a great example of that. The fundraiser was fantastic, kudos to Sunnyside Market for putting it together. It was heartwarming to see so many people willing to lend a farmer a hand. And he is the epitome of grace, really... not angry or discouraged but simply accepting that his living is at the mercy of the earth and willing to accept that risk in order to live the way he does. Pretty admirable.

I had forgotten how much I like Matt Masters. He sang odes to the Bow River and a great riff on Johnny Cash's I've Been Everywhere called I Can't Go Nowhere, all about traveling post 9/11. I'm loving the roots country music these days, thanks in part to listening to a fair bit of CKUA. Corb Lund is another great Alberta artist. There's something special about listening to songs about the place you know.

This week we pulled up the beets. Which, we learned the next day, when we had record breaking temperatures, was a bit early. Ah well. The harvest this year was twenty five pounds.. not to shabby..

So far we have enjoyed roasted beets as sweet as candy and beet fritters when it's too hot to turn on the oven. (too simple to require a recipe. grated beets, breadcrumbs or a bit of flour, egg, ginger, salt, pepper. fry up in spoonfulls.)

We are experimenting with cold cellar techniques this year. The basic approach is to cut the tops off, leaving an inch of stem intact, brush off excess dirt, and leave them out to cure for a few days. We then buried them in a large bin of sand, which is bloody heavy but what can you do. The other options are sawdust, which sounds messy to me, or vermiculite, which costs a lot more. Perhaps we will move to vermiculite when we get tired of sand in the kitchen sink.

Here are some recipes I am interested in trying:

Cypriot Beet Preserves

Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cakes

I'll have to make another batch of kvass as well. That stuff is weird and addictive and I don't know why. And of course, borscht. The Moosewood Cookbook recipe is my favourite. I think the secret is caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar.


Julie said...

LOVE your photo! I never get tired of beets. I added some to a ham and black bean soup and it looks a little freaky... I'm so bummed that I was out of town (in the Okanagan) and missed Chris' fundraiser. Glad it went well!