We are far enough from the lake that we don't directly feel the lake effect my grandmother used to complain about, the prevailing wind and the cooler temperature, but our weather is still governed by the Great Lakes, our national treasure. Fresh water and good food will be the oil of the 21st century. I know a little bit about good food and healthy soil and the painstaking efforts of many small famers to keep poison off their fields and out of your food.
What's on today's agenda: Delivering a bushel of beets to my local food pantry.
What I'm working on: Putting away the soaker hoses for winter, along with all the garden utensils and the tomato cages. The garlic is planted and already I received my first seed catalog for next year, and all I want to do is hunker down in front of my laptop and work on my novel!
Recipe for BASIC ROASTED BEETS
Scrub beets but do not peel. Leave a ¼ inch of the stem if removing greens and a bit of the growing tip also. Rub with a little oil. Bake in a pan or on a baking sheet at 400 degrees or whatever oven temperature is convenient until whole beets are easily pierced with a knife. (I like to wrap them in foil.) Skin will be bubbly in places. Small beets take 30 to 40 minutes. Large beets can take an hour to 90 minutes depending upon size and oven temp. They become very sweet with thorough baking so don't undercook them. Cool and then remove the stems and sking. Skins should slip right off and beets can then be sliced, quartered, or left whole. They are ready to be reheated with a little butter, vinegar or in your favorite recipe. Many cooks feel they are best enjoyed in salads with citrus or salty flavorings. They can be kept and refrigerated for up to a week. You may also cut them as desired and put into freezer bags to enjoy through the winter.
More recipes for using beets to follow.