For as long as I can remember, Mother canned sweet and sour beets. Beets are a purplish red tuber which grow just beneath the soil. On their own, they are tough and woody to chew with a bland, but faintly sweet flavor. When we lived in the city, I remember the neighbor girl thought we were absolutely crazy for enjoying this simple delight–we ate them like candy! Years after we moved into the country, Momma still canned beets, and we would occasionally open a jar over dinner.
But she gave it up as we grew older. The process of canning became too much of a chore for a housewife raising five kids and working on computer software from home. I hardly gave another thought to these treats. It was something that faded into the past. Then, one day, a friend introduce me to this lovely all-natural, organic-based cafe and market.
On the rack of canned goods, I found my old love.
Cracking open the sealed lid, an aroma of familiar spices wafted toward me. I breathed them in; the almost fruity, earthen smell of the beets, the sharpness of the spice and vinegar, and that sweet and tangy juice. It tasted just like Mother made, and it felt like home.
Recall a favorite food passion you discovered after leaving home. What did you feel? Write about it in the comments. Try to be descriptive.
1 thought on “Something From Home”
A really fresh orchard apple – a Macintosh or a Macoun or an heirloom variety – brings me back to a couple of fond places in my life. In sixth grade I had a friend whose family ran an orchard near Media, Pennsylvania. I remember walking through the orchards, smelling the ripe apples still hanging on the trees and watching out for those that had fallen, where yellow jackets hummed a warning. I remember the family barn with apple crates piled high to its ceiling and following my friend through a maze of tunnels that led to his fort way up near the rafters, carefully avoiding the “bottomless pit” that he’d created to keep away his younger sister and her friends. And I remember the shock I felt to see amber apple cider trickling out of a tap instead of water. Turning even farther back to my childhood in Connecticut, my mother would core and peel a fresh apple and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the slices. What a mouth-watering combination that was.
P.S.: My mother didn’t can beets, but she cooked them for us pretty often and I got to like their “earthy” flavor! Thanks for the reminder.
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