It's happened. Time after time, I've been setting out plates of beets when we throw burgers on the grill at our country place.
Not locally grown, organic beets carefully and gently roasted in the oven with garlic, and sea salt, and expensive Spanish olive oil. Nope. Just sliced beets from a can. The kind Australians use on their burgers. That's right, order a burger in Australia and someone will throw a slice of canned beet on it and expect you to eat it.
I was a non-believer that first time. I stared at the plate. I stared at the burger. I wasn't sure about this thing pinking up my hamburger bun. But after a run-of-the-mill, but also kinda-awesome burger at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, I was converted. A burger at a mediocre cafeteria changed me forever. I haven't looked back. Now, I have a pantry stacked with small cans of sliced beets and I never grill a burger for myself or David without piling a few beets, onions, tomatoes, greens and ketchup on top.
Lucy, like pretty much all Americans, was also a non-believer. Who wants a vegetable on their burger? A vegetable when it isn't actually necessary to eat a vegetable with your burger? Why chance it? Why not just ignore the plate of beets into oblivion? Why chance having your pee turn pink?
All good questions.
It took me years. Just putting beets out there on the table, pushing the plate a little closer to her, getting her interested, seducing her with my stories of pink pee. Once, I even told her they were sweet, like candy, on your burger. I'm pretty sure she thought I was drunk.
But this Spring it happened. When she was ready - Lucy does everything on her own time, in her own way. She grabbed a slice of beet and shoved it between her burger and bun.
Then she smushed it all together to make a "squeeze burger", which is just a burger compressed to it's maximum in the hands of a kinder-gardener. She's famous for it in the school cafeteria. It's a culinary marvel.
And she loved it. Just as I did. Just as David has his whole life. The three of us eat our burgers with beets now. (Edie is still a hold out, as expected) But what Lucy always asks, as she's eating her burger, all pink-stained and smushed down into its most compact form, is whether the act of eating it makes her an "Australian girl".
And we think it does.