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Beets




Some people love them. Others still harbor distasteful memories from childhood of jarred or canned beets and prefer to socially distance from them. My only memories of them are from cold summer borscht, made by Manishevitz and sold in jars. It was a clear ruby red broth with julienned beets. When sour cream was added it turned a wonderful shade of bubble gum pink. They also made a green soup, called shav, made from sorrel. I found it very unappealing and would never even taste it. Decades later I finally had some cooked sorrel when Bob and I went to Paul Bocuse is 1975 and had his signature dish of salmon with sorrel sauce.


Recently a friend with a very large and productive vegetable garden gave me 3 freshly dug up beets. I thought it would be fun to try to make that cold summer borscht myself. I scoured the internet and came up with a straightforward simple recipe. It called for simmering the unpeeled beets for about an hour and then letting the cooking liquid and beets cool. The next step was to strain the broth. As I did this, I saw that the liquid was the color of weak coffee and not at all appealing. The taste was not any better. So, now I had cooked beets and no broth for soup.


What to do? I peeled the beets, easy when they are cooked, and shredded them on a box grater. I mixed in a large dollop of yogurt and some chopped cucumber for crunch. Finally, some salt. Fortunately no one in this house has an aversion to beets so it disappeared in one sitting. It was the color of cooked red cabbage and I served it with some weissworst, a veal and pork white sausage.

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