My family is a “farmer’s market” family. Every Sunday we get into my Dad’s truck, load up on our reusable Wegmans bags and drive over to the commuter lot used for the stands. We have our people. The old tomato man, the peach family, the okra kids, but most importantly- the beet crew. The Lee’s love our beets let me tell you. Pickled, boiled, baked, you name it we eat it.
Being VA born and raised, I have a good mix of traditions, my Dad’s side being of the more stereotypically Southern domain. There’s a certain insatiable hunger that comes with a Southern-ish palate when you come to Boston. BOY do I miss those beets. I can make them myself or buy them pickled in the jar at the store, but its never the same. The Lee’s don’t like them sweet, we like them vinegary -almost acidic. We don’t like them smooth, we like them thick cut and jagged. When you taste a Lee beet, you know. The hunger for one has been the same since someone’s grandmother decided it was how it was supposed to be.
There’s something about a food memory and the nostalgia that comes with it, that makes your stomach long for good meals and hands long for good kitchen tools to forge more.