Pans full of fritatta, brimming dishes of pasta, piles of rare meat waiting to be seared. In the midst of a busy day, I found myself at the sink peeling beets. Beets tell you to stop, they require patience and attention. There isn’t a quick way to peel them.
I can’t help but feel meditative standing at the sink, my forearms in cold water and rubbing my thumb along the surface to slide off the skin. Time is precious in the kitchen. Yet as I peel, time seems to slow down, allowing me the space to connect with the vegetable in my hands. Even the water itself feels soothing, cleansing and life sustaining.
Washing the beets clean of their tough skin I am aware of a sacred connection with the earth. Nothing brings to mind earth more than a root vegetable. There is a profound memory of being buried deep in soil that cannot be washed away. After, when all the beets are peeled, you are allowed that first bite. Golden beets harbor the sweetness of sunlight, and an unforgettable bitter buzz of earthiness in the back of your throat.
This week I mixed them with roasted parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes and tossed everything in maple syrup, thyme syrup, olive oil and butter.