|Beet on Steroids?|
That is, indeed, one very big beet. And since it was grown personally by the wife that is Venus -- I do feel safe in saying "Baby Got Beet."
When Venus pulled this out of one of our raised beds a couple of nights ago and literally needed the services of a wheelbarrow to get this monster inside -- my original thought was the following: "she planted beet seeds far too close to one another and they sort of all glaumed (is that a word?) on together."
|Not an invader from another world: Just a beet|
Hey, if "glaumed" is good enough for the incomparable Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -- it's good enough for the blog that is Sacramento Vegetable Gardening. But, I digress.
This much is true: The wife does have a well documented green thumb. This much is also true: She doesn't pull basketball sized beets from the garden every other day of the week. Yes, we do get the occasional baseball sized radish. But that's kind of rare.
As is this monster of a beet.
Speaking of which -- what does one do with a beet the size of a basketball? Set up a hoop and net? Use it as a bowling ball? Welcome to the Bird House! Coffee? Tea? A gallon of Borscht?
|Bigger than your ordinary water bottle|
That was -- after all -- the second question to Venus. This is after I came home and nearly tripped over the thing. At that point came the second question, which went sort of like this in a calm and relaxed way: "HOLY COW!!! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THIS???"
I suddenly had visions of going on a diet consisting solely of beets. Not that beets are bad, mind you. Bill Bird loves beets in a salad or other setting with other vegetables. But Bill Bird does not bathe with beets. Bill Bird does not dream of bathing with beets.
Side note? Beets have been around for a very long time. The earliest recorded history has them popping up in Babylonia in the 8th Century BC. Although ancient Romans considered beets to be an aphrodisiac, that really isn't such a big deal since Romans considered just about everything to be an aphrodisiac.
|Creature from the Black Magoon|
So what does one do with a monster like this? One can't just cannot tear into a beet freshly harvested from a raised backyard bed. It's not like a peach that is freshly harvested from a backyard tree. These things need processing. More precisely, they need to be boiled for a good hour or three before they are tender enough to slice and serve as -- well -- beets.
Have you ever tried boiling a bowling ball? I haven't either. But I can tell you this much. It ain't all that easy. But the wife would not be deterred. If she grew a beet the size of Third World Country, she was going to make sure that ever last bit of said Third World Country didn't go to waste.
|Monster Beet After Processing|
Grabbing the largest pot in the pantry -- a pot normally reserved for processing other crops like tomatoes and turning them into pints of good things like sauce and salsa -- Venus dropped in the beet monster -- filled it with water and started the process of turning bowling ball into something consumable.
Darn if that lady didn't know what she was doing!
A myriad of thoughts ran through my mind during this process. Would said monster ever get soft enough to process? Would it have the fine taste of "wood grain" after processing? Beets don't often get this large, and these were safe questions to ask.
|Hey! That Doesn't Look Half Bad!|
But something rather amazing happened when Venus removed her prize beet from the Bird processing pot after three hours of boiling. It sliced open. Not only that -- it sliced open easily. Inside? A deep and pretty shade of mahogany revealed itself. There was no wood here. It sliced the way a beet should slice.
But how would it taste? I was still rather skeptical! Would this be a woody waste of time? Imagine my surprise at the first bite. A blast of sugary sweetness greeted Bill Bird's taste buds. This wasn't just any ordinary beet! It's the best beet that Bill Bird has ever tasted!
My mind immediately turned to the empty pint jars in the pantry. We have processed beets before -- on many occasions. There's nothing more enjoyable than tearing into a jar of sliced beets that you processed the summer before on a cold, dark winter eve. Home processed beets are not as sweet as the commercial counterparts sold in grocery stores. They are also far more tasty.
|Sliced Beets for the Masses|
But the wife had other plans. Process her prized beet? Away with you husband! One doesn't process a golden garden surprise like this. It is to be consumed over the process of several meals. Try as you might, the taste of fresh garden beets is hard to duplicate. As a matter of fact, I still have the taste of this special beet in my mouth, even though said beet is long gone at this point.
It's the kind of taste that makes you wish you had just a little bit more. Baby Got Beet? Sir-Mix-A-Lot would most definitely approve of this message.