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A Beet, is a Beet, is Not a Beet

July 25th, 2016

I’ve grown a wide variety of beets in the past, for the most part they all taste very similar. They vary in color, but the earthiness in their flavor is fairly consistent. After trying a wide variety of beets, I usually grow ‘Red Ace. This year, I decided to try ‘Crosby’s Egyptian’ beet (sources from Baker Creek). Germination was spotty, which was pretty common with the drought this year. The beets that did germinate, grew quickly and sized up before I realized it. When I harvested them, most of them were softball size – EEEK. I figured they’d be a total loss because they’d be woody, but I cooked them anyways.
crosbys egyptian beet
When I cut the first one, I was amazed at how tender it was. At first bite, I was amazed by the texture, sweetness, and flavor of these beets! They are very smoothly texture, none of the woodiness or fibrousness that can sometimes be common with beets. The flavor is very sweet, very beetlike, with none of the earthiness that the major of beets have. These would be perfect for those family members who are against the “dirt” flavor in beets. I don’t mind the earthiness at all, but this beet has a place in the kitchen for sure. We’ve been enjoying them on salads with sheep milk feta, pickled red onions, walnuts, and a maple mustard vinaigrette. I’ll definitely be adding these to my must grow list from here on out. I highly recommend giving this variety a go.

Have you discovered any flavorful new varieties of favorite vegetables?

Give Me a B!

August 27th, 2015

I love beets, especially pickled. Even as a wee little lassie I had an affinity for the pickled purple roots. My mom made them often and I gobbled them up. I don’t do a lot of canning, but I always make two half gallon jars of pickled beets for the fridge. When we eat up the beets, I love throwing boiled eggs in the juice so I can have lovely pink eggs for my salads.
harvesting beets 2
For this reason, I’ve always grown beets in the garden. Not a ton, just a 15 foot row or so. Enough to eat throughout the summer and enough to pickle. I never thin my beets because I like have a wide range of sizes. I love the huge ones for slicing into big rounds and I love the tiny ones for roasting whole.
harvesting beets 1
This year I grew ‘Early Wonder’ and ‘Detroit’. They were both fantastic, very long holding in the garden. In fact these beets were seeded very early and have been growing all summer.
harvesting beets 3
We like eating the beet greens as well, but when it comes time to pickle a load of beets, the chickens end up with the tasty leaves. I’m happy to hand them over as they’re a welcome treat for them. It seems like beets are one of those vegetables that people either love or hate, I’m so happy to be on the love side!

Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

After being asked in the comment, I figured I’d add it here too. I love The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition) and most of my pickling recipes come from it.

Friday Favorite: Beets

November 8th, 2013

I love beets, especially when they’re pickled.  It’s a good thing, because I have a ton of them in the back garden.  This row of beets is 3 beets wide and about 60 feet long.  That’s a lot of beets. I’ve been thinning them out for the past month or two, we’ve been roasting them. A few of them have also gone to the pigs, who greedily chomp them down making themselves look like they committed a heinous crime. In fact, one day, I went up to water them after feeding them beets and I thought one was injured and bloody, it was just beet juice.
beets
Not all of them will be pickled, some will be stored in the root cellar for eating, others will be stored for growing leaves for our table during the dark days of February.  The weather is turning colder, while beets will last a while in the garden after the frost comes, they won’t live forever.  These coming weeks will involve lots of pink fingers!

Do you like pickled beets? 

Quote of the Day: Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd

September 15th, 2013

Americans are fondest of the foods of summer. Peas, beans, corn, and tomatoes are most people’s first choices among vegetables, regardless of the season. Modern agriculture, modern trucking, and the freezer allow us to have them even in the depths of winter–beets, carrots, parsnips, turnip, cabbage and winter squash–were popular then because they kept with little trouble in the cellar all winter long without much loss of flavor; and they were, in any case, sustenance when nothing else was available.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

Personally I much prefer the flavors of most of the other seasonal vegetables above the typical summer ones. Perhaps it comes from a childhood of eating canned green beans, frozen corn and applesauce all winter long. Perhaps I’m just older and learning to appreciate a wider variety of vegetables for the many flavors and textures that they bring to my table. Or perhaps, I just love being able to garden over a longer season because of these vegetables.
cabbages 1
Sweet Potatoes 3
winter_carrots
harvesting_golden_beets
This winter I’m looking forward to my root cellar full of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips and celeriac. In the coming years I hope to add chicories and other brassicas to my stores.

What’s your favorite non-summer vegetable?

A Little Fun

August 13th, 2009

Who said canning wasn’t fun? Last year I introduced a friend of mine the joy of pickled beets. He now loves them and always helps us pollish off jar after jar of them. I decided while canning some this year I’d make some just for him. Since he’s a fan of the The Office, I figured I’m make his with a special label.
Schrute_farms_beets

Do you share your harvests with friends & family?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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