Turning Beet Greens into Steak

Just planted the last spinach and lettuce seeds for the season; in fact those will be the last winter crops planted until next November. Both are short crops and should be ready for eatin’ by early March and on through the month. Also just planted the first summer seeds, green peppers. Those are started indoors and, if all goes well, should be transplanted into the main garden about the same time we’re picking the lettuce and spinach mentioned above. I’ve got this seasonal blending thing down fairly well now. I had mentioned putting a few squash plants out way, way early but heavily protected against cold and insects. We had a cold night, 35 degree kind of night, so I decided to take a peek under the covers and see how things are going. Two of the plants are protected with Walls of Water so I was expecting those to be just fine. The other is just under my normal frost/insect cover so it probably got down into the low 40’s on the plant but it still looked just fine. I have to be careful to avoid getting too close to these guys (emotionally) since there’s still lots of winter to go and they can get zapped anywhere along the way.

Spent pretty much the whole day yesterday cutting firewood with George. He’s still working on the batch of oak that was cut down last week. The tree fellers left it in big chunks which need to be cut down to fireplace size. We ended up with a fairly substantial pile of saw dust that I gathered up to use as cover in the walking paths between garden rows. Oak sawdust is particularly good, taking a couple of seasons before it completely disintegrates into the soil. Nothing is wasted. When I saw the amount of saw dust we were generating I commented that we had enough saw dust to open a butcher shop. Then I had to laugh – nobody but old people would even understand that comment. When I was a kid, there were butcher shops and the floors were covered with saw dust so that the blood dripping from fresh cut carcasses would be absorbed and swept out on a daily basis. That would probably be a hanging offense these days.

In the past, I’ve had trouble getting a decent beet crop but this year, it’s been much better. One of Nancy’s quilt buddies raises cattle and, it just so happens, loves beet greens and cabbage. Beet greens normally make it to the compost pile, except for baby greens in a salad maybe, so it was nice to find someone who eats them. And today she blessed us with a nice steak and a couple of pounds of ground beef. Next season I’ll plant more beets. I’ve also heard that the blueberries are blossoming early this year and collard lady has several large bushes just loaded with blossoms. Yummmmm.

We ate the radish soup prepared earlier in the week-the batch fortified with broccoli. What a difference that made both in taste and texture. Next time we’re thinking of either supplementing or replacing the broccoli with cauliflower. That was the end of the radishes for now. It will be a month before another batch will be maturing, marking the end of the radish season until next December. Up until this season we always just used the radishes in salads but this year, after trying the soup, we went big time. I wonder if there’s a corresponding carrot soup that uses both the root and foliage? If carrot tops are edible, then I don’t see why not.

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