Tagged: Tom Robbins

Jan 27

Beets and poetry

Two subjects linger in my mind on this Tim Burton-like day, where black trees with spindly branches seem to reach into the rain as if the drops might medicate their gloom. Beets and poetry. Yes, beets and poetry are on my mind. While the sun fails to shine outside my kitchen window for the umpteenth day in a row, lunch consists of beets, cottage cheese with mandarin oranges, and mushroom soup. Ah, you might say…there lies the rub, but no, the soup is Campbell’s soup. The last time I checked, Campbell’s was not in the pharmaceutical business. Beets play a role in the book, Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I enjoyed reading this book, but that was years ago. The book was better for me because beets were in it, not beets tasted better to me after reading the book. I don’t remember if this was in the book, but I thought the beet, a heart, a symbol of immortal love. Anyway…I love beets. Why? I do not know. They taste a little woodsy. Perhaps there’s an unconscious connection to the outdoors or trees or some other earthy thing I adore. Though I can’t place what it is about the color that is attractive to me, the color is deep and rich, and an unusual color for a vegetable. The texture may be the key. Cooked beats, like turnips, don’t fall apart as easily as potatoes, retaining their form, though they can get very soft. Yum. Beets taste good. Particularly pickled beets with hard-boiled eggs. I plant and harvest beets, boil them until the skins slid off easily, mix up a concoction of vinegar, water and sugar, boil some eggs, drain and peel the eggs, put everything together and refrigerate over night. Abracadabra. According to Wikipedia (a source I might add that you should use at your own risk), “the first known mention of the word abracadabra was in the 2nd century AD in a poem called De Medicina Praecepta by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who prescribed that the sufferer from the disease wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle. Abracadabra…beets and, I feel a little beeter, I mean better, and I haven’t even gotten to the poetry.

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