Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

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First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!

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** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.

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I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.

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They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!

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I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!

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