Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Beetroot (01 JUL 2015)

During the past year I've been aspiring to a healthier lifestyle. I jumped on the bandwagon and gave up eating sugar for four months. I managed to convince myself and everyone else that I didn't need sugar - didn't even want to eat it anymore, which held true until I was confronted with a Black Forest gateau during an all-you-can-eat night-out. I was the only person on the table who had double portions.

Following this lapse, I've taken a more moderate approach, allowing myself a portion of sugary food once a week - after all it's just crystallised beet juice.

Another fad, which I was even less successful at, was trying to introduce fermented foods into my diet. Sauerkraut is available in my local Polish deli, but considering that I can only eat cabbage on a Friday night, the more potent version might be a step too far.  However, I read about a Russian health tonic called beet kvass made from the liquor of fermented beetroots which seemed like it might be less of a shock to my digestive system. 

I planted some beetroot seeds, planning to make it a holistic, organic experience and bought some ingredients to practise on so I wouldn't waste my precious crop.
Chunks of beetroot were left to soak in mineral water with some salt and yoghurt whey. Probiotics in the latter start the fermentation.

12 APR 2014

After a few days, a scum started to develop. This is a normal part of the process which I was prepared for, but the reality of it in my kitchen was disgusting to look at, let alone contemplate drinking. The experiment was flushed down the toilet without any more excuses.

15 APR 2014

In the meantime, the beetroot seedlings sprouted. Their magenta stems reminded me of the bubbling kvass.

18 APR 2014

I planted the seedlings and thought about blogging again ...
Why else would you take a photo like this?

27 APR 2014

When I stopped blogging in 2013, it had become like a chore rather than my hobby - I wasn't sure why I was doing it. Since then, I hardly turned over the soil and beetroot plants were the only new visitors in my garden. My camera was covered in a layer of dust most of the time .

Now I realise how much blogging makes me a better gardener - that's what I want to be for sure. I wondered how many of the others who started with me in 2010 were still at it.

12 JUL 2014

I was tempted to check if the crop was ready during the summer, but I didn't want the disappointment of digging up half-grown beetroots, so waited patiently.

Finally in December, I dug up the biggest beetroot plant. It appeared to communicate a message from the underworld and certainly didn't look appetising. At a loss for words, I planted it back in its hole.

16 DEC 2014

I took a photo for an end-of-year post.  Guess what my New Year's Resolution was?

31 DEC 2014

In March this year, I decided that the beetroots' time was up as I needed to make room for new plants. After seeing the first root, my expectations were low ....

27 MAR 2015

Off all the seeds that I sowed this year, which do you think survived the best ?

When I plant these out, I'll think happy thoughts about borscht with a dollop of creme fraiche instead of scummy beet kvass, I'm sure it will make all the difference.

01 JUL 2015

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