There’s something you should know: I love beets.
Which means, of course, that I also love beet-y, beefy, vinegar-y borscht. Here’s the borscht I made this morning:
Beets remind me of so many things I love…many of them literary. Tom Robbins, for one, and his Bohemian King Alobar, in Jitterbug Perfume. Diane Ackerman’s lucious A Natural History of the Senses. There’s even a wonderful point in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (the book!!) where borscht plays an important role for Norah’s character development. Beets add an earthy insistence to life; they feel like blood, like dirt, they make you think.
A lot of writers are drawn to cooking because it is such a sensual, creative act. It’s nice to know that where my favorite vegetable is concerned, I’m in good literary company. As Robbins begins Jitterbug Perfume:
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.