At a certain point during my childhood, my mother made pickled beets every year, jars and jars and more jars of pickled beets, more pickled beets than a family of 5 could consume in a lifetime. Let me say up front that I never liked them, not one bit. In fact they ruined beets for me for most of my life. I couldn’t even stand the smell of the cursed things.
These days I can enjoy beets from time to time – not so much that I want to eat them regularly, but a couple-two-three times each year, no problem. I suspect if it weren’t for pickled beets in my childhood, I might have even grown to like them a lot.
We had a cold cellar, which was underneath the front porch of our home. There were shelves around the walls and they were always loaded with preserves, including jars of tomato sauce, peaches in a sugar syrup, a weird concoction involving plums from the back yard tree and alcohol, dill pickles and bread and butter pickles too – and lots and lots of pickled beets. The thing is, I don’t remember (or I choose not to remember) anybody actually eating them.
As a kid I suspected that mom made pickled beets not because anybody in the family liked to eat them but as a kind of carry-over from life in Poland (even though my mom came over from the old country as a child). I’m not against carrying on traditions but I prefer the cabbage roll tradition to the pickled beet tradition by a long shot.