I think we are all ‘making do’ right now. It might not be as bad as rationing during the last great wars, but it feels like we are under attack just the same. I feel fortunate to have a large garden and belong to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm where I get a box of fresh produce each week. But, unlike my own garden, I don’t get to choose the contents of the box. Turnips…sorry I just can’t get behind them, even pickled. And, although I love beets and chard, enough is enough. Thankfully they don’t include zucchini, of which I have a plethora. But, I have become creative with other items of abundance in the box.
Kale and chard are easily quickly blanched and frozen in one cup portions for soups this winter. Once cooked a huge bunch of either becomes manageable. Kale also makes an amazing raw kale pesto (see a future post for the recipe). And, I have heard it is excellent in green smoothies. Just a rumor.
Beets are delicious roasted and marinated in a simple oil and vinegar dressing. A jar of them in the fridge will make a fantastic addition to a salad with blue cheese and toasted walnuts. They are also excellent pickled, I understand they are a classic on a hamburger in Australia.
And, they are also beautiful and flavorful in this raw beet dip. Okay, I get it, you have your doubts. But believe me this dip was received with raves at a recent outdoor appropriately socially distanced cocktail hour.
How are you making do?
Butchered and shaggy hair has become a symbol of the age of Covid (our salons are closed yet again) in the same way that many of us are sporting the Covid-10 on our waist and hips. My grey roots betray my age as well as how long it has been since I have seen my favorite professional stylist. I can count the months since a professional pedicure in the polish slowly moving down the length of my big toe’s nail. I choose to wear these signs proudly as a sign of adherence to the rules.
Gone are skinny jeans, instead I wear loose fitting boyfriend jeans and an oversized T-shirt. In addition I sport a boyfriend (or husband) haircut, both of us having had a turn with the scissors. He hasn’t done such a bad job actually although I am glad I can’t see the back except with some effort. Could raggedy and un-dyed hair be a new sign of nobility and and frugality? Will the age of Covid result in a whole new standard and definition of beauty? Will I no longer want or need my quarterly routine of three hours of cut and color at a cost of $250?
Will we all wear our manes with an ownership of our own natural beauty…curly or straight, unencumbered by an outgrown standard of comeliness defined by the commercial artistry of an industry?
Anyway, food for thought.
And meanwhile we have this lovely ruby red raw beet dip to keep us happy.
You don’t need to cook the beets for this dip. Nor, if you have young and tender ones, do you need to peel them. My own was on the large side, so I did peel it. I used walnuts, but almonds are fine. In the original recipe there was a smear of labneh or Greek yogurt on the base of the dish, I didn’t have either available and we didn’t miss them. Serve this with sliced pita or pita chips or cucumber spears or even potato chips. If you only have one lemon on hand, zest it before juicing, and set the zest aside for garnishing later.
To start, get out your food processor or blender.
- 1/2 lb. of beets (2-3 small or 1-2 larger ones) ends trimmed and roughly chopped
- I peeled my large beet but it probably wouldn’t be necessary with smaller ones
- 1 1/4 cup of walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet on low heat or a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. 1 cup can be whole, chop the additional 1/4 cup for garnish.
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, plus the zest for garnish
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, plus more to taste
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup of olive oil plus more to garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
- Optional – 1 cup of labneh or Greek yogurt for serving
- Put the beets, 1 cup of walnuts, 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, pomegranate molasses, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt into a food processor or blender.
- Puree on high until the beets and nuts are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides and blend again until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- Add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend again. You want a mostly smooth puree.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You may need more molasses, or lemon juice, or salt.
- If desired and available, spoon the labneh or Greek yogurt into a small bowl, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Spread the beet dip over the top, smoothing again. Top with the 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, the lemon zest, and a generous drizzle of olive oil
Serve with cucumber spears and chips for dipping.
Dip will keep for a week in the fridge, covered.
What are you doing to ‘make do’?
This recipe came to me via Alexandra Stafford who writes the blog Alexandra’s Kitchen, she in turn found it in the New York Times by Tejal Rao. We have both made some modifications and adaptations.
Please come by to sample all the yummy recipes, and get craft and decorating ideas. And please consider adding your own post to the party if you are a blogger. We would love to read what’s going on in your life and kitchen, how you are making do in this crazy time.