Despite my father’s many futile efforts, I’ve never been much of a gardener. It’s probably his biggest disappointment, that despite trying so hard for so long, neither I nor my brother have inherited his love of digging into soil. While he could spend his entire days cultivating his huge garden, I tend to avoid working there as much as possible. I guess it has something to do with the sheer vastness of the space, and with the still vivid memories of all my childhood weekends spent laboring there.
As much as I love trying to grow herbs and tomatoes on my tiny balcony, that’s pretty much as far as I’m willing to go with my gardening efforts. But what I surely do love, is bringing home a basket full of fresh produce and coming up with different ways to use it all up. Due to my glaring lack of efforts, I don’t really deserve to be spoiled by my parents with such generosity. But there’s usually so much produce available that my parents don’t really mind sharing
Each year, it’s kind of an adventure: what is going to work and what is going to fail? What will grow abundantly, and what will fail even to sprout? Each year, there’s something that surprises us: last year we were swimming neck-deep in tomatoes, and this one, there hardly was enough of them to eat in salad, let alone thing of canning them. On the other hand, last year there were almost no cucumbers to be found, and this year, my mom was giving them away by bucketfuls, because she didn’t know what to do with so very many of them anymore. Unforeseeable is the name of the game here.
And thus, this fall we have been blessed with the largest crop of beets anyone in the family can remember. There are so many, and at least half of them are as large as a soccer ball. Mom has been canning them like crazy, but she still can’t get to the bottom of the pile. The last time I went to see them over the weekend, she sent me away with a full basket and the uloha to find as many recipes to try as possible. I, of course, was happy to oblige. Beets are one of my favorite fall crops, and while I already have a few favorite recipes, I’m always looking to add more to my repertoire. These recipes are currently on my “to try” list:
Beet & greens tart (via Green kitchen stories)
Beet & cream soup (via The pretty blog)
Beet & quinoa veggie burger (via The Awesome green)
Beet hummus (via Not your standard)