Monday, October 3, 2016

Beets 101

Before we get to our regularly scheduled blog post....

Order here!
Congratulations to our own Ruthy! "Refuge of the Heart" has won the Maggie award in the inspirational category! Yay, Ruthy!

Now we get back to the beets. Why beets?

For one thing, I happen to love them. :)

Second, they're versatile. You can pickle them, fry them, make a casserole out of them...and the greens are the best part! Similar to spinach or swiss chard.

Third, they're very healthy. An "excellent" or "very good" source of manganese, folate, copper, and potassium. They're also high in Vitamin C, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Plus a whole slew of other great stuff. Remember that we've been taught to eat colorful vegetables? Beets are about as colorful as they get with their deep red color.

Fourth, my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Katie, brought some home from her mother's garden last week. :)

The first step in any beet recipe is to cook them. I washed them, pricked holes in them with a fork, and then roasted them at 300° for about 2 1/2 hours.

Once they're roasted and cooled, you can peel and slice them.

Now that you've reached this point, you can use them in just about any recipe under the sun.

I decided to try them in a casserole, similar to something my grandmother might have made with beets out of her garden.

Beet Casserole


about 3 cups beets, cooked, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
pinch salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

more butter
plain bread crumbs

Make a white sauce with the butter, flour, milk and salt. If you aren't sure how to make a white sauce, go here: Basic White Sauce

Once the white sauce is made, add the brown sugar and stir in. Enjoy the light brown color - it will soon be pink!

Stir the white sauce into the sliced beets and place in a casserole dish. I used an 8" x 8" baking dish.

Top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and dot with butter...

Then bake at 375° for 20 minutes.

Serve this as a vegetable side dish for an autumn treat. :)

Speaking of autumn, we've been enjoying fabulous fall weather here in the Black Hills!

Beautiful blue skies, warm temperatures, and golden aspens!

Nothing like three years ago this weekend...

That's when winter storm Atlas decided to pay us a visit! You can read all about that storm here.

But there's a funny thing about living in the western plains - you get used to huge and quick weather changes.

We spent Saturday at Devils Tower in 80° weather.

Gorgeous. Even the climbers thought so.

Can't see them? Let's try a closer shot.

But in October there's a different feeling in the air than in the middle of the summer. We may have been in the 80's over the weekend, but by Tuesday our highs will be in the 50's and lows in the 30's.

Even the animals feel it. Have you ever seen such a fat prairie dog?

So we prepare, even on days like Saturday. The ranchers pull their cattle in to the winter pastures. I take the fall inventory of our pantry. We gather in, batten down, store away, and button up.

Because you never know when the temperatures will drop, the wind will howl, and you will glad of the fire in the stove!

Are you getting ready for winter yet?

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. Jan!!! Thank you for the shout-out for "Refuge of the Heart"! I'm still in a daze because this weekend was so crazy fun and amazing... But it's Monday (yay!!!) and back to writing sweet stories! All the family has gone home and it's me, Dave and thousands of pumpkins. :)

    I love beets. We were going to grow them this year, but time got away from us, but they're on our list for next year's plantings. They're so amazingly delicious, and I've never thought of them in a casserole like this... So I'm going to grab some fresh beets and try it!

    I think back to that blizzard (Atlas) and the havoc it wreaked on the meat markets for two years... and we begin to see and appreciate that we are small cogs in the wheels of nature... and I CAN'T EVEN!!!!! when I see those tiny people trying to climb sheer rock.

    I can't imagine why that's a thing... not when God gave us the common sense to invent the chair! :)

    But I loved the pictures of them... once we could see the tiny speck they make against the humongous wall!

    Do they know what caused that formation? Is it eons of wind and rain erosion, do you think, after a glacier attack?

    1. BIG CONGRATS on your Maggie win!!!

      The next time I do this casserole, I think I'm going to dice the beets instead of slicing them. That will help distribute the delicious sauce more evenly. :)

      And Devils is so delightfully interesting. Massive. Unique. Fabulous.

      The official story about how it was formed is that it is the core of an ancient volcano. Then over millions of years the mountain around it wore away and the tower was left.

      But that doesn't explain why it is unique. Why didn't that happen more than once? Why aren't there three or four, or thousands of these formations in the world?

      I like to think that one day God said, "This will make things interesting!" :)

      I'm with you on the rock climbing thing, too. The sport is hugely popular around here...but my feet are staying on the ground!

  2. Oh next time she send some home I am so trying this. When I was thinking of something different I didn't even think of a casserole! I did however make beet brownies and they weren't too bad. We did also make the greens fried with Bacon. Jacob liked them :)

    1. Hi Katie!

      Beet greens with bacon! Yum!

      And be sure to cut the beets smaller than I did. I LIKE beets, and enjoy the slices, but someone who isn't in love with them...well...they would rather eat them in smaller bites.

      And kudos for getting Jacob to try different things! The four-year-old Jacob never would have done that. ;)

    2. Haha well it helps he likes other greens. I'm learning if he doesn't like something I just figure out how to make something he does like with it!

  3. Yay to Ruthy's celebration and toasting her with beets! :-)

    This casserole sounds intriguing. I might just try it. Might make an interesting addition to our Thanksgiving feast....thought I might be the only one who would eat it. LOL

    And that rocking climbing is uber scary. My daughter goes to a rock climbing gym all safely harnessed in with professionals all around. So glad she hasn't developed the yen for rocking climbing in the great outdoors.

    1. When you get to Devils Tower, they give you a brochure. Part of it warns about climbing - it is dangerous and could result in traumatic injury or death.

      Okay, they convinced me there.

      But then they go on to tell how to do it, and emphasize that you must be an experienced climber to attempt it. They're also VERY adamant that all climbers must register before heading up.

      There are places here where people practice climbing. They start out taking classes, then try the shorter climbs around Wrinkled Rocks (behind Mt. Rushmore). Then they graduate to the Cathedral Spires. Once you've got those down, then you're ready for Devils Tower, etc.

      Still, I'm not going to try it. ;)

  4. I loved "Refuge of the Heart"! Such a sweet story.

    And I haven't made beets in forever! I'm going to have to try this recipe (adjusted for GF of course) and see if I can get Austin to eat it ;) Sheesh...the last time I cooked beets, though, my hands were stained red for DAYS.

    And would you believe I STILL haven't been to see Devil's Tower? Cue the Close Encounters theme....

  5. I love beets, Jan, but my cooking would have stopped at the point you took them from the oven. I love the flavor just by themselves.

  6. Jan, I had to laugh at your question about such a fat prairie dog, because I've never seen any prairie dog. ;)

    Beautiful photos! I love the gorgeous golden leaves. And I remember that blizzard! So surprising!

    No winter prep here, yet. We're still getting summer-like weather--with some cooling at night. But I love the idea of cooking beets soon! Thanks for sharing the recipe.