Veggie Tales

Yesterday, there was some chat on Twitter about sweet potatoes – mainly because Amy Beth said she’d never eaten one.

Her status as a true Southerner is now in question.

Both BooMama and I expressed shock and dismay that Amy Beth had lived her life thus deprived. Veronica commented that no other food can claim to be a side dish, a pie, soup and fries. (I’d add biscuit to that list. I saw Paula Deen make sweet potato biscuits on TV once, and my mental taste buds have never recovered.)

Sweet potatoes are truly sublime.

When we went to South Carolina this past winter, I almost fainted from ecstasy when the little seafood restaurant we visited one night had baked sweet potatoes as a possible side dish. And when the server asked me if I wanted my sweet potato with the usual toppings, those being butter, brown sugar and a little cinnamon? I died right on the spot.

The funny thing is, I didn’t grow up eating sweet potatoes (which is acceptable, since I’m a Yankee). We ate syrupy sweet potatoes covered with a blanket of toasted marshmallows each Thanksgiving and Christmas. But that was it.

I had no idea what I was missing. I now say, with conviction, that a life without oven-roasted sweet potato fries is hardly worth living.

An epiphany like that makes me wonder: What other undiscovered gems are out there?

Which brings me to my point.

At the farmer’s market last Friday, I passed a booth selling gorgeous multi-colored beets -- crimson and golden jewels piled high on the table. I’ve never cooked a beet, myself, and the only beets I've ever eaten have been the pickled variety, which are vile. But I’ve been hearing some positive buzz about beets lately, especially roasted beets. And since I’ve recently become a strong believer in the roasting of vegetables, I decided to take the plunge. Thus, two bunches of beets are now sitting in my fridge.

But, between you and me, the beets, they scare me a little. I've read stories of mass staining, burgundy hands and "a meaty, earthy flavor."

What have I done?

Anyone out there want to reassure me?

Amy Beth?



  1. i've never eaten a sweet potato either. i only eat about 3 vegetables and i don't try new things.

  2. Oh, a baked sweet potato is divine, isn't it? It'll just about make you want to slap someone. Yee-ummm!

    About the beets... Well, I am sure someone will be able to help you out with a recipe. I've only tried them a couple of different ways and I'm just not a fan.(You know that "earthy" flavor you've heard of? It's funny you mentioned it. The last time my mother tried to get me to eat beets she said, "I just don't understand why you won't eat these," and I said, "Well, Mama, I imagine that dirt tastes an awful lot like beets."

    But I just hate to end on something negative, so have you tried roasting asparagus? Or eggplant? Acorn squash? Zucchini and yellow squash? Yummy, yummy!

  3. I am not a beet fan but must say I can't tell you the last time I tried them. They just scare me, too. But I love a good baked sweet potato, or mashed baked potatoes... Mmmm!


  4. Sweet potatoes - YUM!
    Beets - I haven't had one in years and years. I'll be interested in hearing your results :)

    Have a great day!

  5. The sweet potatoes at Outback Steakhouse are so yummy. I can't stop thinking about them now. I grew up in small town MN and my mom baked sweet potatoes all the time. LOVE THEM (with lots of butter too)
    Beets? Oh boy, is anyone going to help you or are we all just going to say...gross!?
    I've never met a beet I liked. Sorry. Maybe the ones in your fridge could become some sort of cool art project... oh, wait...the staining...

  6. The beets, they scare me too. A lot. I have memories of basically being force-fed the offending vegetable when I was younger, and I have no desire to try them now. Let us know how they turn out...maybe you'll convert me!

  7. Beets. UMMMM.
    Seriously, they are not at all scarey, just delicously good.
    If you boil them don't peel them first. Trust me.
    The peels come off after.
    They do stain a bit, but I get it out with boiling hot water poured directly over the stain. (Works on most veggie stains).
    Yes, roasting is very good.
    I need some beets now.

  8. I'm so sorry to disappoint, but in my honest opinion, beets taste like the dirt they are grown in. I can't imagine any cooking technique that could possibly change that.

    If you find one, then don't let me know because I won't try it.


  9. Oh you will LOVE beets! They are sooo good. Fresh are the best. You can just boil them and eat with a little butter and salt and pepper, but roasting them is DIVINE! Yum! I'm so hungry now.

    (Should I mention that I also LOVE the pickled variety? Or not?)

  10. I am not a fan of the root vegetables. IE, Sweet potatoes, beets, etc. But go for it! Hope you love them, because they are SO good for you.

  11. Ok - I've never had a beet in my life, but I watch Tyler Florence roast them on his Food TV show. And, I am a HUGE believer of anything roasted. I roast all my veges and they taste like candy.
    I would suggest peeling, slicing and adding them to a baking sheet with carrots, onions, squash, or any other veggies. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast (450) for about 30 - 35 minutes. Brings all the sugars out in food - so candy happens! I'm going to do this as well! Hope it works!

  12. Sweet potatos yes! Beets NO!!!
    I recommend staying away! ;)

  13. Beets are lovely! Roasted, they turn all sweet and deeply red. They're one of my very, very favorite fall vegetables. Here's a lovely recipe for them:

  14. KELLY! I just had beets for the first time last week! They were wonderful!!!! We got them in our CSA share, and I was nervous too... but this was my recipe:

    I roasted the beets instead of boiling them, and I added grilled asparagus. It was awesome.

  15. ! had yellow beets just recently and they were awesome. Just boil then the peel just squishes off. reheat with butter,lemon,salt and pepper. yummy Don't let piple scare you.

  16. Okay, so I tried your email and came up short because I don't know which server is mine and all that...
    I hope you know what I'm talking about, or I may be totally confusing you.
    Anyway... I wanted to answer your question from my blog--YES, I've done Believing God by Beth Moore and loved it. I've also done the fruits of the Spirit one and my favorite, Breaking Free.
    Beth Moore is so...
    Okay, I can't think of a good enough word, but I know you get that.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Someday I will figure out how to email...
    OH! here's mine, just in case

  17. ha! The picture of Ike with the strawberry allergy today - the red worms on his high chair tray, are beets. From a can, mind you. But beets.

    Also, i made a salad once for a wedding shower. I took the beet slices and cut out hearts with a teeny tiny heart cookie cutter. The name of the salad...

    ya ready....

    Heart Beet Salad.

    Thank you very much, I'll be here all week.

  18. I have never had a beet.. but I love sweet potatoes... well, I love any kind of potato. I just picked up some sweet potatoes to throw in with my crock pot short ribs! Yum!

  19. beets taste like dirt. I offer no help. Maybe you could feed them to a rabbit or a deer. do deer even eat beets?

  20. I'd never tasted sweet potatoes until I was feeding them to Emma out of a jar. Ewww.

    But then... THEN! I had them "for real" one time (and when I say for real, I mean THE TOPPINGS) and looooved them.

    Beets? Yikes. I've never tried them, but they freak me out. I think maybe it's the name. Beet. Why would you eat something called a Beet?

    Twitter... I feel like I'm missing out. Do I need it? ;)