My Revenge

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

I smelled beets.

Beets are not my favorite food.

Some say beets were designed by Satan himself.  He needed something vile to fill the cauldrons of hell and  many consider them his best work – 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 the aftertaste of burnt chalk..

There is nothing on earth I hate 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 Scooter. On the other hand, I fly into a rage when I find January’s power bill  under the couch in June because she had scattered mail about the house.

But the war over these things was waged decades ago.

These are behaviors that neither of us is willing to give up.  We each have given enough ground and the turf we stand on will be defended 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 piles upon grievance until the weight of forbearance overcomes the strength of tolerance.  That is when forgiveness and forgetting fail us.

It is also when the beets come out.

So to restore balance to my marriage, I knew just what to do.

She loves pork chops.

The next day, I went to Nick’s meat market and selected their best cuts.  I sprinkled the chops with YaYa spice and let them simmer slowly over the grill. After the meat turned to a golden brown, I sliced it into long thin strips.  These I added to a sauce pan already sizzling over a low heat with carrots, asparagus and broccoli.  As the vegetables softened and soaked up the taste of pork, I carefully sliced crisp red, green and yellow peppers into half moon shapes and layered them in the pan.

She cannot stand peppers.

She hates them.

About as much as I hate beets.

 

Note:  Farming is a slow slog this year and I anticipate 14 hour days until well after Thanksgiving.  Depending on the weather, we could be combining corn on Christmas, so to my blogging friends, I apologize for my inactivity.  See you after harvest – or when it rains or snows.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

57 thoughts on “My Revenge”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…..er, or at least I think I did.

      Why are the cats hiding under the table?

  13. 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.

  14. 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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