Beet, Beans, Baseball and Beer: It's Christmas
As a mature adult, I’m quite capable of having a meaningful discussion about beets without resorting to childish tantrums. Such as:
Beets suck, and I’m not eating them. I don’t care how you cook them. I don’t care if you coat them in chocolate. I don’t care if you send me to bed without supper. I’m having nothing to do with beets, because, as I may have mentioned, beets suck.
As a demonstration of my maturity, I said none of these things when our kindly neighbors gave us a bag of homemade foodstuffs for Christmas. There was the annual bottle of their raspberry liqueur (it makes a wonderful cocktail when mixed with bourbon and a dash of cranberry bitters). There was a container full of their own spicy mustard. And there was a big jar of pickled beets.
But I’m much too polite to mention my distaste for beets to my well-meaning friends. Most years, I just took the awful purple orbs and regifted them to the raccoons. Sometimes, even they wouldn’t eat them.
However, that won’t be the case this year. Thanks to information that I learned just this week, I now know I can contribute those repulsive beets to a worthy cause.
Feeding the homeless?
I wouldn’t want to make their wretched existences worse.
Part of food packages for famine-stricken countries?
They already hate America. Why aggravate them even more?
Dye packs used to identify bank robbers?
The courts have ruled this is cruel and unusual punishment.
No, my beets will go where they can do the most good and the least harm. They will be turned into Ice B’Gone. This is a new treatment for icy roads that’s made from a mixture of beet molasses and salt. According to officials in Skowhegan, it’s less corrosive to vehicles than other stuff they’ve spread on the streets in the past, works at lower temperatures and saves money. And best of all, every beet that’s processed into Ice B’Gone is one less beet available for my annual Christmas gift.
The only downside I can see is if my neighbors decide to substitute Brussels sprouts, instead. I hate those bitter boogers even more than beets.
There was good holiday news for a couple of Maine businesses this week. The foodie website Zagat.com named Coffee By Design in Portland as one of the ten “coolest” coffee shops in the country.
The reviewer said CBD was so cool because it kept the air conditioning on high year round, even on the coldest winter days.
Also, they don’t serve beets.
Just kidding. About the AC, I mean. I actually think I’m right about the beets, too, although you never know what could get added to your cup in the back room. Some of those ultra-hip baristas have devious streaks.
Meanwhile, Forbes magazine chose Luke Livingston of Lewiston for an annual honor. LL of L has been named one of the thirty most alliterative CEOs in the country.
Or perhaps not. It appears Livingston, the founder of Baxter Brewing Co., is getting a different award. The twenty-seven-year-old has been chosen as one of thirty people under age thirty in the food and drink category who will be “shaping American consumption for decades to come.”
I guess that means Americans will have beer guts for the foreseeable future.
Livingston puts his beer in cans, which is a good practice. Cans are easy to drink from and convenient to transport. Unlike the other brewery on the Forbes list, Brewdog, which allegedly once made a high-alcohol beer packaged in real squirrels, hares, and weasels.
I know, that looks like something I made up. But I swear on a bottle of pickled beets that it’s not. Check here for my evidence.
Anyway, back to Baxter. I enjoy their Stowaway IPA a lot because it’s really hoppy, but well balanced. Like hares and squirrels, but without the protests from PETA. If somebody gave me a case or two for Christmas, not only would I be pleased, but it would help fit this whole segment into the overall Yuletide theme, thereby avoiding those weekly complaints from readers that this is just a random bunch of crap tied together with gratuitous references to stuff like beets.
Which reminds me, Baxter Brewing has a pledge on every can: Guaranteed Beet Free.
The town of Old Orchard Beach got a nice gift under its metaphorical tree this week, when it was learned that a new baseball team will likely take up residency next summer in The Ballpark, which is what Old Orchard calls its ballpark. Which, as names go, almost makes up in accuracy what it lacks in originality.
The Futures Collegiate Baseball League is planning to expand in 2012, and OOB is at the top of its list. The town lost its previous team from the New England Collegiate Baseball League after a single season because all the players tested positive for beet extract.
Finally, a heartwarming holiday tale that actually happened. Or at least the guy in the bar who told me about it claimed it happened, which is almost as good.
This past week, several of the women of the neighborhood gathered in one of their houses for an impromptu, mid-afternoon cocktail party. When they eventually staggered home, one of their husbands politely inquired as to what they had been doing all that time. The wife replied, “Making Christmas ornaments for the homeless.”
To which the husband responded, “Where the hell do they hang them?”
Still, it’s not as bad as giving them beets.
Al Diamon also doesn’t care for broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, collard greens, turnips, squash (especially zucchini, although not exclusively), fiddleheads, Swiss chard, kale, avocado, eggplant, artichoke, lentils, asparagus, yams, parsnips and any kind of seaweed. This list is hardly exhaustive, so before you start canning some plant to give him as a Christmas gift, you might want to check by emailing email@example.com.