My Revenge

The moment I walked through the door, I knew I was in deep trouble.

I smelled beets boiling on the stove.

She knows I hate beets.

Some people say that beets were designed by Satan himself. Many consider them his best work. Rumor has it that he needed something extraordinarily repulsive for the cauldrons of hell – but I disagree.

It is the boiling of beets that was Beelzebub’s most diabolical creation. Boiling them destroys any semblance of texture and reduces an already repugnant food to a gelatinous mass with an aftertaste of burnt chalk.

There is nothing on earth I despise more than beets.

So why was she cooking them?

What had I done to deserve this?

What had I failed to do?

Boiling beets as punishment for wrongdoing may sound passive aggressive – but I assure you it is not.

Every good marriage is founded on sound communication and deep trust – but every loving relationship also rests upon a bedrock of annoyances.

It drives her crazy when I toss my sweaty ball cap onto the kitchen counter after walking the dog. On the other hand, I fly into a rage when I find the January utility bill under the couch in June because she had scattered mail about the house.

But the war over these things ended decades ago.

These are behaviors we will never give up. We each ceded enough ground and will defend the turf we stand on to the end.

So there is nothing left to do but tolerate each other.

And forgive.

And forget.

But that only works for so long.

Over time, grievances pile up until the weight of forbearance overcomes the strength of tolerance. This is when forgiveness and forgetting fly out the window and the beets come out.

So to get back at her for getting back at me, I know just what to do.

She loves pork chops. It is her favorite thing to eat.

So the next day, I go to Nick’s meat market and select their best cuts.  I sprinkle the chops with YaYa spice and simmer them slowly over the grill. After the meat turns a golden brown, I slice it into long thin strips.  This I add to a sauce pan already sizzling over a low heat with carrots, asparagus and broccoli. As the vegetables soften and soak up the taste of pork, I carefully slice crisp red, green and yellow peppers into half moon shapes and layered them in the pan.

There is nothing in the world she hates more than peppers.

She despises them.

About as much as I hate beets.

Author: Almost Iowa

58 thoughts on “My Revenge”

  1. Why is it that one’s significant other wants to get one to try something they already you will not like? Something like beets and cucumbers and pickles.

  2. Left my comment up above…thinking that I was at the end of the comments. You are deservedly a very popular blogger.

  3. Beets, yuck. Peppers, YES!…but not hot ones. Will be sending supportive thoughts for your harvest. Food is definitely a marital issue…so many ways to play/pay/and persuade. Sorry to be so late on reading this. I must be busy or something.

  4. I can’t believe I missed this post! I once wrote an essay defending the white potato in which I dug up all the dirty little secrets about other vegetables. Here is what I said about beets: “You can try to dignify this vegetable with ivy league status, but this is a case where Harvard is just another word for fructose.” Enjoyed your tale of the battle of the vegetables. P.S. I actually like beets but I HATE eggplant.

  5. A humorous tale of two vegetables, with much truth. Well written, and a story most readers can relate to or appreciate. Thank you!

  6. Ahhhh I’ve missed your brilliant words of wisdom. And I hear you… nothing beats beets for saying I love you in that fingernails on the chalkboard kind of way.

  7. Enjoy your break! And thanks for reminding me that it the fact that my husband doesn’t cook is actually a good thing. It’s one less weapon for him….

  8. Happy harvest. I’m with Dan on beets and peppers. Maybe you could start a shipping service. Oh, one last thing. Please pickle the beets and peppers before sending. Fun post, Greg.

  9. Damn funny, Greg. Beets are persona-non-grata around this household. I find pickled beets tolerably good on a salad but can meet those needs at various buffets. Peggy finds them useful for nothing. So we don’t cook them. Their are a few items that one of us doesn’t like but the other does, so we save them for when the other person isn’t around! I always cook up a batch of my hot African food and pig out!
    14 hour days. Ouch. –Curt

    1. Great attitude on beets!

      My favorite thing about harvest is the evening meals. Often times, a local church will schedule their seasonal suppers for harvest and the farm wives will get out of their combines or park the grain cart and hustle down to the church hall to pick up a stack of meals for the crew. It is about the closest thing we have to traditional roles – but traditions must be preserved and the meals are spectacular.

  10. My mother always pickled our beets and I hadn’t eaten any for many years when I moved back to the family farm in February 2013. Well, when I was planting the garden, dad said we needed to plant more beets. SO, I did. Then when it came time to pull them, guess who had the job to pickle and can them? Yep, it was me. Mom couldn’t do it anymore and dad just watched and told me where the recipe was. SO, I did it. I am not sure how many pints of pickled beets I canned because it has been a few years. Mom passed away in November 2015 and there has been a jar of beets on the cabinet she put there. It is still there. Great post as always!

  11. I am a new subscriber to your blog. Love your sense of humor…. something we need more of in this world.

    The only way beets should be eaten is NEVER!

  12. Gwahahaha! As always, you have me laughing (well spluttering and coughing, as I have a chest infection brewing…) What I think I need is a nice big bowl of cooked beets. STAT. It’ll cure what ails me! xx MH

    1. Beets will definitely drive away germs, as well as spouses, children, pets and neighbors. That is not all bad because I noticed that when my wife cooks beets, even the telemarketers avoid calling our house.

  13. The wait in between posts is worth it. This was the best laugh I’ve had today. Anyone who has been married for a ‘while’ understands completely. I’m liable to be chuckling to myself about this all day and for that I thank you. 🙂 I only ate beets at my grandparents. She would make what they called Harvard beets which were in a sauce full of sugar and vinegar – not bad. But when she had left over meat, potatoes and veggies, she’d made a hash add a couple of beets and call it red flannel hash. Now, that was good. 🙂 See you again when you have time.

    1. I am an old dude and remember my grandparents eating foods that were common in the days before rural electricity and refrigeration. Can you still buy turnips, rutabagas and beets in most supermarkets?

  14. Revenge is a dish best served …. with peppers & beets, it seems.

    One of the things I used to do when the family had annoy me to no end was fry cabbage. Everyone else would bitch up a storm over the ‘rotten smell’ as I consumed mass quantities with a sly smile on my lips.

  15. Food Fight! I also don’t like beets, Greg, and I’m not a picky eater either. They taste like dirt.
    Hope the farming goes smoothly and you’re in before the weather turns too cold. Stay warm and healthy.

    1. I don’t know why you say beets taste like dirt. What has dirt ever done to you to deserve that? 🙂

      Lately, we have been experiencing my favorite farming weather: windy, 33F and raining. There is no hiding from the dampness.

  16. I shall remember this story to use as needed. He can’t stand the smell or taste of Brussel Sprouts. Hmmm. Problem is I love the taste but hate the smell. And beets, I can take them or leave them, but mostly leave them.

  17. First off, beets rock! But boiled? Never. Pan-fried with garlic is the way. I like the juxtaposition of a gourmet favorite meal garnished with her least favorite food. Simultaneously repairing the relationship and letting her know her beets-message wasn’t wasted on you.

  18. You two are a riot! Did not see those last couple of lines coming. My husband cannot stand balsamic vinegar. I wait until he is out of the kitchen to add it to my cooking. And then lie about. Yeah, I’m bad.

    1. No need for the trigger warning, Maggie. I read your post and wrote a complimentary comment. I didn’t ramble or rant about how much I hated beets. I kept my cool…, or at least I think I did.

      Why are the cats hiding under the table?

  19. Good luck with the harvest. I like beets and peppers. Since you guys will soon have a bunch of leftovers, maybe I should stop by. Just keep that ball cap off the counter.

  20. The beets-and-peppers tale’s amusing, but I really laughed when I read, “See you after harvest – or when it rains or snows.” That’s the life of a boat varnisher, too. Well, except for the snow. If it’s going to rain, I want a real rain, that will be visible to everyone, including my customers. Perverse as it may be, the best rain is on the weekend, and a rainy holiday is glorious. It means there’s not a chance of any work being done, and those slothful hours will be entirely guilt-free.

    1. At times, anyone whose job depends on the weather finds themselves singing Jimmy Webb’s lyrics, immortalized by the great Glenn Campbell:

      I know I need a small vacation but it don’t look like rain

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