Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Beets

I'd like to introduce you to someone.
This is Ruth (center).

Ruth was born in Nebraska in 1899. As an 8-year old child, she moved to Idaho with her family in a wagon train to take up farming. A farmer's daughter, then a farmer's wife, she married my great-grandfather shortly after her first husband's death.

All told, my great-grandmother married three times, raised 4 daughters and a son, churned butter, made quilts, and kept a garden and who knows what else. She collected teddy bears and salt shakers, buried two husbands and one daughter, left situations that were intolerable, and made pickled beets for her family.

I was about 8 myself when I tasted her pickled beets. I don't remember what they tasted like, but to this day, 20 years after her death shortly before her 90th birthday, my family still talks about her beets.

So I'm trying to recreate her beets recipe.