Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We all know where babies come from…

but do you know where beets and potatoes come from?
I'm on an adventure trying to be a very good wife and mother so one thing that involves is cooking dinner everyday. Polish cuisine has a lot of interesting dishes with dough, pork, cabbage, potatoes and beets as some of the favored ingredients. I try to oblige the taste buds of my husband and include some of them in my cooking. Potatoes are no problem. We get them from the farmer who farms our land for us. (We have a small farmhouse in the village near my parents-in-law.) My farmhouse at least for me is purely recreational. Prior to that, I was getting potatoes from my parents-in-law who have a pretty well-stocked garden. In my father-in-law's gardening heydays we called him the garden nazi as all the rows were perfectly measured out and weeded daily. Now that things have slowed down a bit for my in-laws, they have cut back a bit on their gardening.
Usually the potatoes were just given to me in a bag on our way back home but one day my mother-in-law asked if I could get them myself. My parents-in-law’s garden consists of 3 parts. One part is a lawn for sitting. Another part is fenced for growing fruit and vegetables and the third part is like the wild west with the other neighbors. Everybody knows which part is his but there are no fences. The potatoes are planted in the wild west. So after examining a few patches of potatoes I thought it best to ask my mother-in-law which patch was ours. I shouted up from the garden to the open window, "where are the potatoes?"' to which she replied, "under the ground Chris, under the ground".
Beets were another story. I usually received beets from my mother-in-law too, but canned. No digging necessary. Once when my beet stash had run out, I decided I'd just cook them myself. What could be so difficult? There was one problem though. I had never seen beets in their natural state, you know, uncooked. Luckily, I know the word for beet in Polish. If you want to call somebody a country bumpkin in Polish you can call them a beet. So I began searching the signs in the vegetable department of the supermarket until I found them. I put them in a clear, plastic bag and took them to the veggie lady to weigh them. I presented her with my bag and proudly said, "these are beets". She looked at me and said dryly, "I know". Hmm, who's the country bumpkin?

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