the Great Beet

In the Whole Foods produce section, the vegetables glistened in their freshly stacked piles. The bunched beets called out to me, my mouth watered at the thought of a warm beet salad. As the reality of washing each beet and shucking off their stalks set in, my eyes wandered to the bin below, where individual beets had been cast aside. That’s when I saw it: the Great Beet. Compared to the other racquet-ball sized beets, it was huge; easily the size of a small child’s head. It would feed me for a week; I had to have it.
A few days later, I was at work, contemplating what to make for dinner, and I remembered the Great Beet was still in the ‘fridge. I fired off a text to my culinary consultant: “Have you ever cooked a giant beet? Think size of baby’s head.” He quickly wrote back: “Cut into pieces?”
And so it began. I quartered the Great Beet. My kitchen looked to be the site of a murder, with bright beet juice on my knife, cutting board, and hands. Steamed to perfection and laboriously peeled, the bright beet flesh blended well with Gorgonzola cheese sauteed onions. I ate too much; I felt sick. I avoided the leftovers for a few days, but was reminded of their potent hue each time I glanced in the toilet bowl before flushing. I am the Great Beet, and the Great Beet is me.

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