I had no idea what to expect when I started Beet This, not being a particular fan of either The Office or beets. Luckily, my wife happens to be a fan of both. It turns out that my request for her assistance wasn’t as necessary as I thought. The Forward sets the stage for this quirky little book – essentially it is a parody homage to Dwight Schrute and his family’s history as beet farmers (An Office spinoff delving into this subject was considered and shelved). However, beneath the parody lies a legitimate cookbook.
The parody is sprinkled throughout the book – primarily prior to each section and recipe. These quippy little introductions feel like something Dwight Schrute would say (as my wife verified), but they do not require any knowledge of the show to appreciate (as I verified). Sample quip: “Buttered Beets is far more than a dish containing butter and beets. It contains butter. And beets. And they are combined. Together.” There are plenty of references to Schrute ancestors, but they are independently funny without having to know anything about the lore of Dwight.
I relied a little more heavily on my wife’s cooking skills and love of beets to verify the recipes. Some of the recipes (Russian Stuffed Tongue, Horsemeat Burger) looked like jokes, but it turns out they are legit. My wife verified the recipes correctly show how you’d prepare the dishes. The recipes are Pennsylvania Dutch and classic German with a lot of game meat. While rabbit, pigeon, and rattlesnake may not be feasible for most readers, there are plenty of other recipes that are much more likely to find their way to your dinner table. My wife was most excited to try Crimson Creamed Beets, Russian Beet Soup, and The Scranton, which is the book’s take on the Manhattan. I don’t like beets at all and still found plenty of intriguing options, including Red Velvet Cupcakes and the Butterbrezel.
Beet This is the ideal gift for that intersection of The Office fans who also like beets. However, its quirky introductions and a wide variety of recipes provide promise for a wider audience. Beet This is easily the funniest cookbook about beets you will ever read!
Beet This is now available at bookstores and various online retailers.
The Convention Collective and Pacific & Court are giving away a copy of Beet This to one of our readers. Enter at the following Rafflecopter link: Beet This giveaway
Thanks to Kourtney Jason with Pacific & Court for the review copy.