So, according to Nigel Slater, there's lots of beautiful beetroot around at the moment, and he's not wrong.
Beetroot has grown on me over the last few years, and now I really love it. It's delicious in a salad, or roasted as a side vegetable, and I've got my eye on this Balti which includes beetroot and cheddar in a kind of Anglo-Indian fusion curry. I got a great big bunch of it in my veg box this week, and curry aside, up on my Twitter feed popped our Nige as featured on the Guardian's website - a recipe for a sausage and beetroot type of pan fry: chunks of beetroot and carrot slowly fried with garlic and chopped rosemary, then add in chunks of good herby sausages to cook, and finally some red wine vinegar to finish off. Oh so simple.
I'd got my meal plan, sorted out on the basis of the contents of the veg box, and I was really keen to give the beetroot a bit more than the usual treatment, so this fitted in perfectly. I'd also neglected the previous week's carrots so they'd ended up in a last minute carrot cake (noting wrong with that, but, you know, not necessarily the most ideal), so I wanted to give this week's carrots some love too.
I loved the idea of the sweet veg with the sausages - our butcher does some fantastic Cumberland bangers which always go down a treat. You get the idea. I was REALLY looking forward to eating this.
I just shouldn't have attempted it last night when I was feeling grotty as you like with that most of English of things - a summer cold; when I was on a schedule to get the kids home and fed and turned around in time for Pink to go to Brownies at 6.
I should have known not to attempt something with no guidance as to cooking time, only suggestions for 'speeding things up' (i.e. use pre-cooked beetroot). My beetroot were small, so plenty of opportunity to get covered in red as I peeled them (no CSI gloves for me, Ms Lawson). I didn't start cooking early enough, and as the time approached to leave for Brownies, with Pink still not fed, I ended up having to 'butterfly' the sausage chunks (slice them down one side to open them out and cook the middles) in order to get them cooked properly for her to eat.
And the potato chips I was making in the oven (I was baking bread at the same time, so the oven was on) hadn't cooked, so she had to have bread and butter... The rest of it had to wait on the stove as I dashed down the road to get Pink to Brownies.
Except Brownies wasn't on. In my befuddled summer cold induced haze, I had forgotten that it was cancelled.
By the time I got back home, with Pink in tow, the chips were finished, but everything else - well, let's say it hadn't necessarily benefited from sitting around...