Beets make a wonderful dye

Published 11:02 am Thursday, November 9, 2023

I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke


Usually by November, we’ve had gray days of chilly rain and sometimes snowflakes up here in the mountains. Outside right now, crisp dry leaves turn to tinder in an incessant breeze; this feels more like summer than Thanksgiving month. Every day, I do a rain dance (don’t look!) in hopes welcome raindrops kiss the earth. Hopefully, we’ll see some by the time you read this, Dear Reader. 

Stretching out those summery morning smoothies a bit longer, before bone-chilling weather calls for warm fare, I peel, chop and prepare small raw beets, curly kale leaves, apple, carrot, banana; stuffing all the healthy stuff I could into the Nutribullet. This time, I promise there was no spoon left inside to grind up. Lesson learned!

Ending up with a lovely scarlet-red smoothie—I opened the container up to check if things were just right. Oh, yes. Reaching for a large cup to pour it all in, of course, you know what happened. That container bounced into the sink, splattering beautiful beet-red everywhere. On the pink fuzzy robe I still had on, my face, the backsplash, counter, floor, you-name-it. Afterward, I just happened to look up at the ceiling, it was as if Lizzy Borden was standing in my kitchen, covered in evidence. 

Those who appreciate beets know the fun of getting that particular shade of deep red out of anything. It’s a wonderful dye, in fact! All I can say is I looked in the bathroom mirror, splatters of scarlet red all over my face, and laughed. I’d just missed Halloween, and it would be my luck for the UPS guy to knock right about then. Out came the mop, cleaning supplies and soak bucket. Just don’t look too closely if you’re looking up around here!  

Saluda Community Land Trust, with the support of PCCF, has scheduled the annual wreath-making workshop at Twin Lakes for November 25, 11-3 (rain or shine). All you need to bring are clippers if you have them, ribbons/ornaments and folding chairs/blankets. Dress for outside weather; this event is for adults and children. For information, call SCLT’s office at 828-749-1560.

Scott Kinard’s celebration with community performances will be at Saluda Center, at 6 p.m. on November 12. 

Saluda Community Table will be held at Saluda Center on the first Tuesdays (Nov. 14, Dec. 12).  Bring your own plates/utensils; dinner is 5:30-7 p.m. 

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Saluda Center will host the Winter Market on second and fourth Saturdays each month November-April from 10-1 (except the 4th Saturday in December). Vendors inside and out will have baked goods, crafts, jellies, soup, doggie treats and more. 

Heartwood Gallery’s annual fundraiser ornament is now available; all sales go directly to the non-profit Outreach organization that provides financial and food assistance to Polk County residents in need. This year’s pewter ornament is “Mistletoe” by Beehive Handmade. 

Happy November Birthday to Jared Scott, Karen Johnson, Nancy Barnett, Dawn Pearson, Dusty Jespersen, Gwen Garren, Stoney Lamar, Jim Boyle, Tom Ellwood,  Wendy McEntire, Aaron Burdett,  Jane Thompson, Candy Oakes, Bruce Hunt, Hannah Jane Kirby, Shirley Chamberlain, Sam Woodbery, Glenn Morgan, Sa Smith, Trish Carey, Karen Gabriel and John Case. Add your birthday to the list! 

Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit