Wednesday, September 28, 2011

it's harvest time, part 2

Considering the long time it's been since my last post, you'd think I was busily knitting entire outfits for my family for the winter or harvesting an acre of food, but truth be told our family was just plain SICK. That cold did it's rounds and knocked us on our butts for around 3 weeks solid. We're now back on the mend, and into enough of a schedule that I can get back to this blog o' mine.

This past spring I planted Chioggia Beets, never having grown any kind of beets before, simply because they looked pretty on the package. I'd seen a post somewhere on the internet saying beet greens look nice as a border for a garden. Since I knew I wouldn't be getting to hand-installing the bricks I'd set aside to polish up my garden border (based on my inability to focus more than a few minutes on anything because of baby-induced sleep deprivation), I planted them and hoped for the best. Well, I had no idea they needed to be thinned after germinating! So this I what they looked like when I harvested them:

Basically, all green and no beet. The beets that I did try to eat tasted like soap. But there's always a silver lining in the garden: the greens were absolutely yummy. To test them I did a poll of my buddies on facebook to see the best way to prepare beet greens. This recipe, from my old buddy Marla MacLeod at the Ecology Action Center in Halifax, NS, was the clear winner because of it's ease, simplicity and down-home tastiness:

     1 bunch beet greens
     2 tbsp butter
     juice of one lemon
     1 tbsp local honey
1. Wash and stem the beet greens.  Steam briefly in a covered pot.
2. In a separate pot, melt the butter.  Add the lemon juice and honey.  Cook over moderate heat to a   light syrup.
3. Combine the beet greens with the syrup and heat through. Serves 2.

That used about 1/6 of the total amount of beet greens I had, so then I did this to add some veggie-based iron into Baby O's diet:
I triple washed these greens to make sure O wouldn't eat any snails or slugs or dirt.

They shrank to 1/10 their size, easily.

beet greens post-steam

beet greens post-puree, stored cosily in the fridge with other baby food

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