Sweet dirt.

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:

Pre-washed beets

Boiling beets

Pickling jars

… secret sauce…


Super salad.

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!

Nom nom.

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Photo credit: feministjulie from Flickr

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