Well, we had an interesting week…
We received a month’s worth of rain in two hours on Monday night, and as a result, our basement (as well as many of our neighbours’) was somewhat soggy. Actually, a whole lot soggy. Much of this week has been spent talking to restoration experts and insurance adjustors.
It wasn’t something we expected to happen. But as Andrew said to me, “You learn what’s important to you.” He’s right – I raced for the girls’ old schoolwork and the photo albums, while he rescued the signed Sidney Crosby jersey. It is good to know your priorities.
We were also grateful for very basic things – like the guys who showed up to pump our basement. And for the incredible number of people who have shown us small kindnesses on our journey back.
When we finally got our power back, almost a day later, we realized we’d barely eaten in that time. With dinnertime nigh and men still in our basement, a trip to the grocery store was out of the question. So I relied on what I had on hand and pulled together a quick meal, one component being these beets. I don’t know if it’s because it was our first meal in a day, or because I was so grateful for the small things, but I think this was one of the best vegetable dishes I’ve ever eaten. I've since made it again with red beets, and it was very good. But I'll be looking for golden beets next time because it was truly delicious. (And hopefully 'next time' we won't be wearing boots in the house.)
"Apres moi, le déluge"
- attributed to Louis XV
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris)
6 golden beets
1 1/2 Tbsp good olive oil
3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp pear or raspberry vinegar (I only had pear vinegar in my cupboard, and it was sublime)
juice of half a large orange
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the tops and the roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2 inch chunks. (Small beets can be halved, medium ones cut in quarters, and large beets cut in eighths.)
Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula until the beets are tender. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with the vinegar and orange juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve warm.