Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. And Rule 17: Eat food cooked by humans, not corporations.
After years of living downtown and devoting our small lot to growing a woodland garden and a Japanese-style meditation garden, we have changed things up and last year we planted a rather large vegetable garden in our newish, largish backyard.
We grew a long list of vegetables. Some did not do well (what’s up with those leeks and parsnips?) but others thrived. We gorged on beans, tomatoes, chard, leaf lettuce and radishes over the summer, among other veggies. It felt so wonderful to be more connected to our food source and to know it was not contaminated in any way.
What really thrilled me though were the beets and cabbages that we harvested recently. And both of these were so incredibly easy to grow. Tamp seeds in soil, mulch, pull plants out.
I’ve always loved fresh cabbage — it’s such a versatile vegetable — but I can’t say I had much acquaintance with fresh beets. Canned beets, of course, but they strike me as one of those “edible foodlike substances” Pollan talks about.
So this fall, I decided to get to know fresh beets. I steamed them, boiled them and roasted them. And I decided to try to make soup with them. Beet borscht.
I found a recipe that called for cabbage as well, so that was a double bonus, since we are awash in cabbages. If you check out the recipe link, you’ll find other ways to prepare beets from one of my favorite food bloggers, Elise, at Simply Recipes.
It’s clear why Tom Robbins calls beets “the most intense of vegetables.” What earthy flavour; what deep, rich colour!
I just love the way beets look after they are cooked and peeled. I admire their firm, round, glistening bodies. I had as much fun photographing these wonderful plants as I did cooking and eating them. And the beet borscht was a triumph.