Saturday, 15 July 2017

Coloured Beets

T'is that time of year when the vegetable garden racks up the quantity and variety of its produce. I should probably grow more beetroot than I actually do. I like their sweetness when roasted and a shredded beetroot adds colour to a summer salad. 

Thinking back to my childhood I have memories of my mum pickling beetroot for winter usuage. She would also preserve boiled beets by cutting them into cubes and placing them in jelly along with several cloves to add flavour. I have to concede that I didn't like jellied beetroot. It must be nearly fifty years since I dissected cubes of purple beetroot from their clammy gelatin coating. The memory still makes me feel slightly queasy.

The archetypal beetroot is purple in colour and global in shape but there are cultivars which are white, orange, pink, yellow or striped and many beets are cylindrical in shape. I sowed a packet of mixed coloured beet seed for my first sowing of beetroot this year. Today provided me with my first meal with beetroot as the principal vegetable.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Monumental Death

My maternal grandfather was one of four children. His eldest brother died at the age of fourteen years in 1909. His sister died in 1944 when aged thirty eight. It was however the death of his brother that resonated down the generations. I suspect that it was his young age that impacted on the family so much particularly upon his father who was already sixty five years of age when his son passed away. The bereft father erected an imposing monumental stone at the head of the grave near the entrance to their family church. As well as detailing the date of the youth's death the enscription includes a  biblical passage,"He has left us only left us for a brighter world above. And they shall see his face ; And his name shall be in their foreheads."

Growing older, appreciating that you are only a crumbly brick in the family wall. It is disconcerting, worrying and inevitably irrelevant.