I’ve been surprised more than once by quite ‘aged’ postcards which give off a close parody, if not a definite resemblance, to what we call ‘pop art’. The ‘Beet It’ card above was one of those surprises.
Here we have Master Somebody-or-Other, a little man-boy set in the center of two beets (woooof that would be strange to have happen to one!) being urged to ‘Beet It’. He does not seem overly concerned, even though his pants are short and even though his boots seem to resemble bent Tootsie-Rolls. Maybe it is because his collar is so tight – could it be giving a Botox-like assistance to the muscles of his face? And in the manner of so many of Henry James’ male romantic protagonists, his hands have been shoved into his pockets.
That one movement says it all, to me. There must be a girl around. A girl he likes. Because this is what Henry James’ romantic male protagonists do when faced with this strange thing . . . they stick their hands in their pockets.
Why, exactly, they do this is up for debate. I can think of a few reasons, myself, but who really cares. They are in a book, not in real life. And besides, we are here to talk about food, not about little boys stuck inbetween the two large purple vegetables of their imaginations, trying to figure out how they can win a way out of this incredible situation.
Beets, to me, are an all-year long vegetable. You can eat the roots, the leaves, both together – you can pickle them or do just about a million things to them if you happen to like them. I do.
It surprised me a bit to discover they are in the amaranth family. But even that doesn’t scare me off. There is always something new to do with beets, aside from confusing them with imaginary barriers to life unfolding. I may just try some of these recipes. If you like beets, you might like to, too!