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Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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Cookery Danish Life

Sweet Beets

June 28, 2008
beet fields in Denmark

Beets have always played a huge part in Denmark; it’s one of two major crops (the other is potatoes) and it’s also harvested for sugar (there’s even a museum dedicated to it). There’s a 99% chance that if you are invited to lunch, nedlagte rødbeder or pickled beets, will be on the table for your smørrebrød (open faced sandwich).

This has always terrified me. Actually, most Danish food has terrified me (Liver Paste/Leverpostej?) ! And so despite having sat at countless tables with beets upon them, I just couldn’t ever bring myself to eat them. No matter how much “oohing” and “ahhing” my mum made over their taste.

However, recently my doctor suggested to me that I should juice some carrots, celery and yes, beets together to help with some health concerns. I’d heard of this tonic before (it’s been suggested as a great hangover drink) and how it helps the liver function. I’ve been an avid juicer but only with things green. I wasn’t sure I could add beets.

But I did.

Into my juicer went one large beet, three carrots, one lemon, half a stack of celery, a bit of ginger and a cucumber for good measure. I wasn’t sure I could drink it but in the name of health I did. And then I did some more. And some more. I couldn’t believe how sweet it was – I had fallen in love with… beets!

I don’t know if I’m into pickling or roasting yet (one step at a time) but juicing them has been tasty and easy. I’m not sure about all the health benefits yet but thankfully I’m now loving beets for their taste instead of doing it out of healing obligation.

My mum will be so proud.

Other beet ideas:

  • Reply
    Felicia Sullivan - Author, Foodie, Rockstar » » Blog Archive » monday morning love (when you’re too tired to actually post)…
    June 30, 2008 at 6:23 AM

    […] This: Alex finds gastronomic joy in the beet. My last experience with beets involved a cake, a napkin at the ready and a good deal of face […]

  • Reply
    EmiraNo Gravatar
    June 30, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Alex, I can not recommend roasted beets enough. Best to get some nice wee ones from the farmer’s market and simply crank your oven (say 400ish?), wash and trim the beets (cut off tops and bottom nubbin) then wrap in a little tin foil purse with a crack of pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Roast until they start to smell divine (depending on the size of beet this is 25 mins to 40 mins), remove from the oven, let cool and then you can slip the peels off with your fingers. These are truly divine in a salad, I put them in a (tuna-less) nicose salad that I make in the summer and they’re just too yummy. I usually roast a bunch more than a need and keep them in their little foil purses in the fridge to pull out and add to summer salads all season long. You will love them. I promise as much.

  • Reply
    HannieNo Gravatar
    July 1, 2008 at 1:26 AM

    I enjoyed your post about the Danish food. My parents in law are Dutchies who emigrated to Denmark a few years ago. Altough they are not to fond about the Danish eating habits they embraced Leverpostej, grillpolser and grovhakket. I can’t stand those. My sister in low really loves them; every time she visits her parents she brings loads of grovhakket to Holland and takes Dutch bread to Denmark because my in-laws don’t like the Rugbrød in Danmark. I enjoy the sandwiches with fish and Rødgrød med fløde. But I would prefer other more southern European cuisines.

  • Reply
    TallyNo Gravatar
    July 2, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    How about grated red beets? Mixed together with grated carrots and whatever is on hand, e.g. radish, apple… spiced up with cress and/or some sprouts, may be mixed with arugula.
    Add good olive oil, salt and pepper. Or a bit of your favorite dressing.

    I love it and have it quite frequently as a “go to work” lunch.

    Hello from Hamburg
    -not quite Dänemark but not far away-

    ps. as teenagers we used to have competitions about how many danish hotdog with red polsers one can eat immediatly after crossing the border 🙂

  • Reply
    RachelNo Gravatar
    July 3, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    I actually loved eating pickled beets as a child. We traveled often. Seeing beets on the salad bar always made me comfortable and happy. I agree with Emira’s method for roasting them. I may add a drizzle of olive oil over the beets before they bake. You can also roast the carrots. Which get lovely and caremlized. Terrific tossed with some fresh mint, salt and pepper. A nice borscht is another way to prepare beets. I love the pink color on the spoon.

  • Reply
    KimNo Gravatar
    July 6, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Coming from a Polish family, I’ve grown up with beets on the table for every major holiday. Either served cold with a bit of vinegar and seasoning or in beet soup. There’s something indescribable about the tasted that I really love.

  • Reply
    LizNo Gravatar
    July 7, 2008 at 8:30 AM

    As an avid beet-lover, I find myself in the minority wherever I go.

    For a beet-palate pleasing lunch, try them sliced, stacked alternately with goat cheese and then roasted. Wow!

  • Reply
    AWNo Gravatar
    May 1, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    oh, Love the beets. Red, white, and anything else found.

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