Once upon a time, in a garden approximately 100 feet from where my hiney is sitting, there was a garden that’s still there and food was planted for eating, both human and animal. Wait… just to reassure you, I do not plant humans or animals!! Also, the animals did not eat the humans; but we humans have eaten some animals in our time. We generally eat only their muscles, milk, or eggs. However, some humans are known to eat muscle egg milk and many other animal parts. Those humans have (just now) earned the scientific name anymunchers. Those crinkly individuals eat lots animal pieces-parts that other humans do not consider delicious.
So in this aforementioned garden, I planted chards, beets, parsnips, lettuces, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, garlics, beans, (pop)corns, squashes, and members of the cabbage family: please say hello to Budding Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Tiny Turnips (planted them a bit late), all of whom (along with their kaley cousins) are still in the garden and are very happy to live there even in the dead of winter. All of these items are very delicious indeed. However, chards and beets (both of whom are also in the same family), had to be harvested before the Big Freezes come, because they would otherwise be frozen to death and rendered non-delicious. Well the beet roots might survive a deep freeze (temperatures in the 20s or lower) but the greens, not so good.
And we do love beet greens.
We’ve eaten beet greens raw in the past… they are quite nice when picked very early and added to salad. However, our favorite way to eat beet greens is to simply steam them with about an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pot and blast the heat on high until the steam makes the top of the pot start to dance. The result is a very tender and delicious side vegetable that makes a fantastic addition to just about any warm meal. The other day we had some with some pig muscle (a.k.a. pork) steaks I had marinated and thrown on the grill. Mmmm barbecued, marinated pig muscles with hubbard squash and beet greens! Truly mondiferous! And mondiferous isn’t even a real word! One can get frightened after eating beets. I remember a beet laden meal from days of yore. The following day, while sitting in the bathroom, I arose and (may or may not have) shouted, “OH GOD!!! I’M BLEEDING!!!”
Nope. It was just the beets!
We have a waste not, want not policy here. If we have leftovers, they sit in the fridge for a day or two, sometimes a bit longer but usually less than 8 months. If we decide not to snarf them it’s time to toss them into the freezer. By the way, the only proper way to store leftovers in the freezer is to put them in a container and throw them with great force from a distance of at least 15 feet. Please do not judge us when you come to visit if you see splatter marks here and there from less than successful leftover tossings. Oh, and it’s always best to make sure the freezer compartment door is open before you toss. So umm… yeah, don’t judge from the numerous dents in the freezer compartment door on top of the fridge. The leftover tossing “accidents” give us greatly humorous laughing chuckles with the eyes squinting while we shudder with ha ha convulsions that confuse visitors and also birds who spy us from the outdoor feeder.
Most recently, we placed both some homemade stir fry and some leftover Chinese food in the same freezer container. Well OK, the homemade stir fry went in first, but there was enough room for the left over “Tofu With Vegetable” entree from our local Oriental Gardens cookery. Both sat in the freezer for about 17 weeks (or perhaps only 9 days) and I scratched my head with a rake (or perhaps my fingers) in an effort to decide what to do with this combo. Then I saw what was left of the beet greens. About a cup or so of greens, and maybe two cups of purple water from cooking. I said to myself, “Let’s have some purple soup!!” I removed the container with leftover stir fry / tofu stuff from the freezer, got on top of a chair, and PLOPPED the contents into the pot with the beet greens. Purple juice flew everywhere, ha ha, very humorous chuckling with eyes squinting and convulsive shuddering. The birds were not amused. OK, perhaps we don’t really throw food around like that.
But I tell you what, the purple soup was holy mackerel wow oh my word yum yum delicious!
Here are some interesting cooking methods you might find entertaining.