I have been hoarding a bag of really beautiful beets from a friend’s garden. My plan right along has been to make a nice pot of winter borscht. I have not made summer or winter borscht in a few years.
When I make borscht in the summer it is a very simple recipe: mostly just beets, some veggie stock or chicken stock, some onions and it’s pretty much done. Eat it cold with sour cream or yogurt, and it’s just perfect.
My winter recipe, however, is something that I rarely make because it is quite the time consuming affair – have to start it early in the day. And so I just have to mention it again! Retirement has offered me the opportunity to make a recipe like this on a weekday. What fun :*)
There are hundreds of variations on borscht, and no one agrees on much when it comes to a definitive recipe. My mother always used beef stock in her winter borscht, but no actual meat in the soup, and she never added chopped cabbage. I have used meat in it for the last 30 years because my husband can’t stand to eat a meal without meat tucked in somewhere. (If you want to make it a kosher meal, obviously you would not add sour cream to it at the end). I have begun shredding the beets instead of dicing them up more recently… I saw it in someone’s recipe, perhaps one from Joan Nathan, as I like her stuff.
Anyhow, I started the whole process about 7:30 this morning, and it’s still simmering away. The cleanup continues, although there is no help for my beety red hands! Even though I am looking forward to this for dinner tonight, it’s definitely better the next day. My one poor bit of planning is that I didn’t set up bread yesterday for baking up today. Poor us! Maybe biscuits will have to do for tonight. Such problems!
The dark time has definitely come upon us. The autumn time change always sends me sideways and this year is no exception. Even after a week of the “new” standard time, I wake up at 3:15 a.m. instead of 4:15. Very frustrating! And now I am doing chores in the dark both morning and night. The one thing that I really enjoy, however, is the starry sky on clear days. That old dome of the sky never disappoints. Orion and the dippers are about the only constellations that I can reliably pick out, but it is satisfying all the same. And I am watching the calendar for the Solstice and the promise of more daylight. It’s only 6 weeks away, but it feels like a lifetime.
This is a 3-day weekend for me. Veteran’s Day falling on a Friday was a total pleasure. 3 days in a row to sleep in! Maybe I will begin the coming work week in a more rested manner. And I had a special treat in that our farmer’s market group of vendors got together for a very leisurely luncheon yesterday. We met at Virginia’s lovely house and sat around stuffing ourselves with potluck goodies for the afternoon. I miss our Saturday sessions at the Weymouth House visiting and selling. Well, more visiting than selling, but it was a great experience. And getting to know Anna and her bunnies and Virginia and her veggies was the hidden prize in the whole summer’s market.
Today I pulled the remainder of the beets from the garden. They were destined for the pot of borscht that I had planned.
Now I grew up on borscht, but this recipe was discovered by a spinning friend who brought a pot of it to our monthly spinning group early in November. I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was and decided to make a pot this weekend. It is the best! Just right for a windy and chilly time of year.