Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Time for Beets!

Beets.  It's what's for dinner
Time to plant beets, that is.  I figure, the time to get people excited about beets isn't harvest time.  By then, it's too late.  It's planting time!  Beets are easy to grow and delicious to eat.  You can eat the beet-tops too -- use them like spinach or chard.  You should try them at least once.  No other food has such a beautiful color.  Here's a recipe to get you started.

Shredded Beets with Fettuccine

Wear an apron.  Beet juice stains.
Wash and peel about 3 medium-sized beets.  Cut into chunks that are small enough to fit into your food processor.  Grate or shred the beets roughly.

Poppy Seeds
Toast 3 tablespoons of poppy seeds in a hot, dry skillet until they smell nutty, about 2 minutes. 

Yes.  5 tablespoons.  Vegetables convey virtue.
Remove poppy seeds and add 5 tablespoons of butter to the skillet.  Cook the butter over medium heat until beginning to brown. 
The bigger the skillet, the better.
Then stir in the beets, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the beets are the texture of cooked noodles, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook one lb. of fettuccine noodles until al dente.  Drain and return to cooking pot.  Toss fettuccine with 1 tablespoon butter and 2/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cooked beets and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Add about a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, more salt and pepper and mix again. 

White dishes make food look prettier.
Serve, topped with minced chives.  Makes enough for 6 normal people or 3 very hungry people.

For vegans, this is pretty good substituting olive oil for the butter.  Leave out the poppy seeds and parmesan and add toasted pine nuts instead.

Antique Cuisinart with the heart of a champion!
Don't you love that food processor?  It was my grandfather's -- part of my inheritance when he passed on.  Which was almost 20 years ago now!


  1. Interesting recipe. I love beets. Especially straight from the garden and warmed to the table.
    Looks yummy.

  2. This looks interesting. I didn't know poppy seeds can be eaten. I thought they are used to make drugs. In my country, we are not allowed to grow poppies.