Three years ago I embarked on the “Picking Eating With Pookie” project, where I’d try veggies from the garden and the farm and then report back on my experiences. I made some progress (I’m quite fond of string beans roasted with potatoes, I love wilted greens like chard in with my pasta, and I periodically find myself contemplating how tasty garden carrots can be) but there are still some major hurdles. One of the highest hurdles is beets. Cooked spinach is still tops on my list of things I hate, but that’s not usually a problem, since it’s not often on the menu at Maple Hoo. Beets are. Boomer and Schnookie just loooooove their beets. And they can’t. Stop. Talking. About. Them. From the first beet of the season until the last, it’s just all “ooh, beets are the best”, “beets are nature’s candy”, “I want to marry these beets”. Blah blah barf.
This weekend was no different. Schnookie declared on Friday that she was going to make quinoa with shredded beets to go along with Sunday’s dinner. While she and Boomer waxed on about how great the beets would be, all I could think was, “What the fuck?! You can’t waste quinoa by filling it with beets!! That’s sacrilege!” Schnookie was all, “Oh, no worries, you can pick the beets out.” I wasn’t buying it, but I didn’t say anything.
Well, I didn’t say anything until Sunday night when Schnookie was prepping dinner. She had the unmitigated gall to point out how beautiful the shredded beets were. Well, I never! I may have overreacted out of despair that delicious Rancho Gordo quinoa was going to waste, but I think I said something like, “I hope those beets rot in hell!” That led to a little veggie-hate-filled tiff that I wasn’t proud of, but that I certainly wasn’t going to back down from. I mean, for heaven’s sake, these were beets we were talking about! The lead up to dinner was terrible. Everyone was cranky, the weather was muggy, the view from the grill is depressing. It was a bad scene.
So I was not in the greatest of moods when I found myself standing next to the kitchen counter when the serving bowl of beet-red quinoa, spiced with sumac and cumin, was placed before me. I peered at it. A-ha! Just as I suspected! Shredded beets were not something that would easily be picked out of a quinoa dish! Schnookie’s a liar! A dirty, beet-loving liar! But… The closer I looked at how indistinguishable the beet shreds were from the quinoa, the more I noticed that it was a giant bowl of delicious, delicious quinoa. I love quinoa. It manages to be mushy like mashed potatoes, but also a little crunchy like popcorn, and never too nutty. Mmmm, quinoa. Quinoaaaaaa…
I couldn’t resist! I had to take a little nibble! I carefully chose a tiny bit that definitely didn’t have a beet on it. And it was phenomenal. So… I took another bite. And it was also phenomenal. It tasted like some heavenly combination of southwestern and Indian cooking. Without thinking, I went back in for more. And without realizing it, I took a bite that had beets in it. I had to admit, I couldn’t tell what was beet and what was quinoa. I couldn’t tell what was gross and what delicious. Could it be… the beet wasn’t gross?!
Next thing I knew, I was loading my plate up with beetstuffs.
If you thought the planet seemed to shift around 7:45 pm today, now you know why. Picking-Eating Pookie willingly ate beets.
Posted by Pookie