Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Beets produce some curious transatlantic differences.   I should say at the outset that my instant inclination is to say that I don't like beets - but my mental image is of ones quite different from these - not yellow, but red.   And that's because in the 1950s and 60s, at least, in England, it was de rigeur to serve them cold, in vinegar (with a little added sugar), and with a salad, and inevitably cold ham or cold Sunday roast (if a Monday) with that salad.   And the beetroot would bleed its red vinegary juice all over the limp lettuce, and the quartered tomatoes, and the thinly sliced cucumber, and merge with the Heinz salad cream, and get tangled up with the Branston pickle.   I did not like beetroot.

Now, though, I've forgiven even the red kind, and baked some, together with these, and some diced sweet potato and diced onion, in the oven with some olive oil, and oregeno, and Caribbean-style salt, and very good they were too.   But here's another cultural difference.   Alice is meant to eat Lots of Beets (and trout, and avocados) because of her recently diagnosed gallstones.   I asked if I could mention these here - no problem.   Yet I would no more put A Medical Ailment out there for public record than I - than, I feel like saying, almost in jest, I would tell my doctor about it (I always feel guilty, in true British fashion, if I'm presenting a doctor with anything less than a perfectly healthy body, which oddly enough is seldom the case).   If anyone else knows any foods recommended for these unwanted little pebbles, do let us know ... my tolerance for beets, strong though it is at the moment, could always start to wane.

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