Speak now or forever hold your beet!

While I absolutely love cupcakes, I’m really not that much of a junk food eater.  I’ve always just loved food – good food.  Growing up I remember my mom having a conversation with my friend’s mother about how she only had to open one can of corn for a family of five, meanwhile at my house we fought over the vegetables, and my mom, being the wonderful Italian Mama she was, always made more than enough food. 

I’m the youngest of seven, three boys and four girls – Bill, Geryl, Dee, Jo, Mike, Tim and then me (I broke the tie), by far with 22 years separating me and my oldest brother, so by the time I came around, Bill was out of the house serving in the air force, and my sisters were getting married and moving out soon after that. That left me, Mike and Tim at home with Mom and Dad for the most part. 

Most of the time I ate dinner in front of the television, with my plate and glass on my Cabbage Patch tray, watching Little House on the Prairie and People’s Court with Judge Wapner.  “The boys” were usually not home, they were busy with lacrosse practice or band or friends.  My Dad worked the graveyard shift at the General Motors plant, so he was always sleeping at that time, and my mom would sit in the kitchen eating alone.  I always regret not eating with her or having had more traditional family meals.

By the time I was in college, my Dad was retired, and when I came home for breaks the three of us would sit down together as a family.  And even just between us we went through more than just one can/bag/etc. when it came to vegetables.  As a matter of fact my Dad and I would always fight over the last bite of spinach – we loved our spinach!  Must have been all those Popeye cartoons.

During the summer in between my freshman and sophomore year, I was going through a phase of being extremely health and weight conscious, which meant even more vegetables – yum! In fact, during that summer we ate very little meat.  I remember one night, out of nowhere, my Dad saying “where the hell’s the meat?”  Actually, it was probably out of the frustration of being forced along into my new eating habits.  But ya know, the kicker of it all is that he ended up losing more weight than I did more quickly!  He’d show off how loose his pant were, meanwhile I was eating the same things and working out all the time and the pounds just weren’t melting away like they were for dear ‘ol Dad.  So not fair – losing weight by association!

My latest kick is beets.  That’s right – beets.  Odd, isn’t it?  I actually think I’m a borderline beet addict.  My brother and sister cooked some on the grill a couple of months ago, and ever since I crave beets!  I pop ’em like candy … they come off the grill, and they’re just so perfect, I can’t resist. 

I tried beets in my salad for the first time at lunch today.  They weren’t grilled, but a beet’s a beet – right?  If you’re addicted to one kind you’re addicted to them all!  Before tearing into my salad and devouring the generous portion of burgundy beauty, I did, for the record, offer to share my beloved beets with the lunch crew.  After all, I’m not a greedy addict.  I’m a happy beet addict.  They make me want to share they’re deliciousness with everyone.  I guess that kind of makes me a beet pusher …  “C’mon eat some beets, everybody’s doing it.”  Anyway … there weren’t any takers, and just before I sunk my teeth into that first bite of beet heaven I gave fair warning that it was the last chance … “Speak now or forever hold your beet!”

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