Blushing Beetroot

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Am writing this in our kitchen after a very traumatic 24 hours. You can still smell the trauma. Literally. More on that in a moment.

Beetroot have taken over my life recently. My village of Hamsterley held its annual ‘Hoppings’ event at the weekend. And for all amateur gardeners a new and potentially rewarding event…a produce show in the social club. One category caught my eye  – beetroot.

So I dug all mine up the day before the show; selected the three best (or three which were the same size); brought them inside; washed them and prepared my acceptance speech.  I’d checked on the internet how to show off such vegetables and was confident. They were whoppers. I went to bed and fell into a confident slumber.

I’d read that they should be kept in salty water overnight. I forgot but woke up at 0525 and went down to immerse them. Was it too late? How sad had my life become?

And so to the day of the show. I prepared the three little darlings and strode down the street towards the show area.  However all confidence evaporated when the show judge who was taking the money at the door looked at me, then at the entries, then uttered the killer phrase “you shouldn’t have cut the tops off” .

Deflated I trudged home, having lost all interest in the stupid competition. The afternoon wore on and word spread. The vole’s beetroots had been placed…..third.

Now I’m not that competitive but for something I have grown to be recognised by leading authorities in the horticultural as the third best in our village, on a Sunday in August, is worth celebrating. I now have a very nice rosette.

And now back to the kitchen, and that smell. Yesterday I boiled two huge pans of beetroot for pickling purposes. And then I forgot about them. For hours. The pan is a goner…and the less said about the poor beetroot the better.

However, today’s a new day. The beetroot I rejected yesterday as not suitable are now boiling nicely. I’m keeping a very close eye on them. Want a jar?