Friday, December 31, 2010

Gritty Beets

So I realized I had even more material on beets after I posted last nights entry.

I cut up those beets (chioggia btw) the pretty stripey ones. I added them to this recipe along with some crimini mushrooms. Every dish needs MOAR veg obvs.

I really like them, Joe thought them too mushy in the center, but this guy doesn't like zucchini, beet, or mushroom... so if mushy was the problem I'm okay. I've got the second half of the batch in the oven now and I plan to freeze them. Apparently once they go through the freeze thaw cycle they dry out a bit more. I'm hoping they make easy weekday breakfasts. If you make them, seriously oil the tin WELL. Getting them out in one piece is the hardest part. I used butter on the second pan, I'm not really sure it made a difference.

I'm peeling my beets, something I realize I have never ever done. I grew up eating canned beets, and I can buy pre-cooked ones at TJ's now. So I'm peeling this beet, and I realize I haven't handled a beet since that time I got locked out in kindergarten.

Now, story time:
One day, mom and kid sister aren't out front when I get out of school. This is new, but after being questioned by a concerned teacher I decide to peel out and walk home. I lived really close to the school, and my hometown was crazy small. So I cross downtown Croswell to my house (.7 miles, thanks google maps). When I get to the house the back door is locked. I knock, and no dice. Its cold out, fall I think... not snowy cold. Since I can't get in the house I'm not just going to sit on the back step... so I try to think where I should go. I'm 5, and this is like the second unprecedented event today... so I decide I'll just walk to my dad's office at the factory, which is on the edge of town. (.4 mi) away. I'm dressed for the weather, I know where it is, I'm pretty pleased with this plan. So I head out again, part way to the factory the sidewalk ends so I'm walking along the roadside and starting to think this adventure is pretty bad ass, I've also decided that I must have walked like 6 miles. A big truck passes and something bounces out. It looks like a big rock, but its vegetation of some kind, so I pick it up. I'll bring it to my dad for an opinion, he knows stuff.
When I arrive in the front office I ask the receptionist to please see Craig Bailey. She looks a little surprised to see me, but I get buzzed in. She sticks me in his office and in a few minutes they find him. He walks in super shocked and not a little pissed.
"I walked!"
"I don't think she's at home, I knocked. The door was locked"
"What's this" *holds up the beet*
That's a sugar beet, why do you have that?
"It fell off a truck, why is it a SUGAR beet".... I'm now thinking maybe it's like, a CANDY beet.
"That's how they make the sugar at the sugar plant, they cook it into sugar"
The plant is Pioneer Sugar, the biggest employer in town, and the namesake of the school mascot so I'm very familiar with that concept. The sugar plant smells bad, not quite paper plant, but close. I am completely puzzled about how this football sized dirty potato looking thing turns into white granulated sugar.
He takes this moment of puzzled distraction while I ponder my beet to call the house.
Mom picks up.
"you lost track of the TIME!?!?"
"I don't know... COME GET HER!"
"I tried to go home, but the door was locked"
"Yeah, let me get you something to draw with"
My dad had the most bullshit doodling supplies as I recall. He got me like a felt tip and yellow legal pad out of his supply closet and told me to stay put. My mom came to get me, and I recall the biggest let down being that no one wanted the beet, and they were not going to let me return it to the sugar people and they were not going to show me how they did this process.

I remember getting quizzed over and over again at the dinner table that night about what had possessed me to walk "all the way" to the office, and not any number of neighbors who we all knew, including my best friend's house which was on our own block.
I was completely baffled.
I thought my logic was sound. If you can't find your mom, you go get Dad, and its RUDE to just show up at the neighbors house. I knew I had to call before I could go over to my friends house.
I patiently explained that I couldn't use the phone if I was locked out.
I also remember really enjoying this feeling of being implacable while adults around me freaked out. Sometimes you just do what you gotta do.

I kept thinking about the day of the sugar beet while watching True Grit on Wed with Jac and Rachel. The girl is older and the circumstances vastly different, but I couldn't help but think. I'm sure most people think something like this could never happen, but I felt like it was the most realistic movie I'd seen in ages. Once you get some shit into your head, and once a situation is already at play... sometimes you just have to keep moving, sometimes you just have to do what must be done. I'm trying to street team this movie pretty hard. Best movie I saw in 2010, seriously. I hate spoilers, so some code for those that have already seen it I will close with.

"Stand UP Tom Cheney!"

Hell yes. and special thanks to Hyperbole and a Half.