blog beetsYes, it is Saturday afternoon, and I am writing a blog post. I’m like Walter Mitty, pretending to be actually a new-age Irma Bombeck, and I’ve got a deadline, and I’ve got to be clever.

But the truth is, I’m just me, and I have trouble being clever. Not to mention the fact that I’ve just today had a session with the holistic practitioner I see twice a month, which featured sixty minutes of Reike, deep massage, and accupressure, which means in terms of energy I’m just this side of a week-old eggplant.

Before you think me extravagant, I should explain that this is part of how I keep myself well. De-stressing is just as much a part of the equation as regular exercise and good food. And anything that is good for the body is good for the brain, which is also good for the writing, which means those sessions are almost tax deductible—but not quite.

It’s what I do to keep at bay the doctors and the pills and the bills, in other words.

Another way I keep myself well, as you likely have surmised, is to eat a fair number of vegetables. It isn’t clear to me how I manage to eat mostly vegetables and still be a size eighteen, but such is the case. It bothers me to the point that if I weren’t going to be cremated, I’d ask for that very independent clause to engraved on my tombstone.

The point I’m getting to is this, and this is for the restaurant owners of the world. Because I think what I put into my body matters, because I work so hard to pay attention to what I eat, it chafes me when I’m fooled into buying salads and vegetables only to have it turn out they’ve been tossed onto my plate from a plastic bag or nuked from frozen in the microwave. It bothers me so badly that I rarely eat salad out or vegetables. In fact, Phil and I hardly go to restaurants because we end up being disappointed so often.

Do I sound spoiled? This is what happens when you primarily eat fresh food.

Think about all the business that could be drawn in. So you ask folks to pay an extra dollar for real, fresh greens. An extra dollar for local, organic, lightly steamed veggies. Imagine the surprise when they realize how much more flavorful fresh, local produce is. Imagine what that might mean in repeat patrons. Imagine a cooperative of greenhouses so that restaurants can get local produce all year long.

As for me, I certainly won’t complain about a longer preparation time.

But beyond all that, and not to be abrasive, but please just promise me this one thing.

Don’t put roasted beets on the menu if you don’t buy them and roast them yourself.

It takes almost no effort: You set the oven to 350 and spray a little EVOO on a baking sheet. Cut the tops off the beets and the root tip. Rinse the beet greens and toss them in my salad.  (Or dry them in the dehydrator and add them to winter soups.) I’ll pay an extra dollar for those, too. Wash the beets. Lay them on the baking sheet far enough apart that the heat can circulate. Bake until tender. Depending on the size of the beet, this can take 30 minutes or longer. Take the beets from the oven and allow to cool before handling. The skins will slip right off. Warm them for serving by putting them back in the oven at 400 for 5 or so minutes (and for goodness sake don’t go to all that trouble and then blow it by warming them in the microwave).

But don’t call a roasted beet that comes frozen in a plastic bag a roasted beet. As I said before, makes me feel like a fool for believing you, and I don’t like that very much. It makes me want to keep my money at home.