Here are some words you’re probably never heard together before:
I am a pickling goddess.
Weird? Yes. I tried my hand at pickling a couple of weeks ago. And I am so happy with the results I had to write about it. Poor you. For a woman who has always said, “If I’m not lucky enough to get roasted in a nuclear holocaust, I would be next in line to go due to my lack of practical survival skills,” (street smarts, yes, bushcraft, not so much), I’m pretty happy that I now know how to pickle something. Because clearly, pickling would be the first skill called upon in a nuclear wasteland. Right after sight-reading and musician psychoanalysis. My god, I’m gonna die.
What inspired the pickling if it wasn’t to survive nuclear catastrophe or the coming climate change-induced famine? It’s pretty simple. After twenty years of avoiding store-bought pickled beets because my childhood taste buds couldn’t handle the tang, I tried them again as a grown-up. And found they tasted like sweet beety heaven. Actually, my reintroduction to the beet was not in pickled form, but a freshly roasted variety on a salad. At first I feared them, but upon trying, found them surprisingly sweet. Not tangy at all. Best of all, when I rubbed them on my lips- free lip gloss! I wondered, is this the perfect vegetable? Where has it been all my life?
About a week later, I tentatively tried a beet soup at a French restaurant. It was cold. It was creamed. It tasted like a milkshake. I demanded a straw. I didn’t get one. I threw my spoon clattering to the floor and troughed from the bowl instead. No I didn’t. But I should have. Heartless straw-hoarders.
So I had tried beets sans pickle and found them highly appealing. But I was still hesitant to try them from a jar. Until I sampled my mother’s secret recipe and my mind was blown. With her guidance, I had to make them myself:
… secret sauce…
Zaddik, my OperaDans choreographer, says that beets taste like sweet dirt (zoute aarde). That makes me laugh, but I can’t disagree. It’s probably the best way to describe their flavour. But damn that sweet dirt is good in a salad! Call me if you need something to eat after the nuclear holocaust. Beets and singing lessons for all!