Once a month Moks members and locals from the community get together to cook a feast of food, called Food Club. By tradition, the night's dinner surrounds a certain theme or type of food. Tonight's theme was beetroots. Now, I too thought what you're probably thinking, "what can you do with beets besides top a salad." Well, I had a lot to learn.
Opening my studio door to the sounds of chatter and plates clanking, I was excited to see what the evening of beets held. I was a bit hesitate as I approached and scanning the room I only recognized Evelyn out of the lot. I walked over to her and awkwardly asked what I could do to help. A part of the arrangement is that everyone must assist in the preparation and cooking of the food. Quickly I was given a chopping board, a small knife and six of these knotted rootlike plants to peel. A few of the girls my age began to talk to me about where they're from and how they love to come to Food Club and learn new recipes. I was told the Estonian name of the root I was peeling, which I forgot just as quickly, but it was described as "a pear that grows underground." It is eaten raw and does tastes like a firm pear.
As I looked around the table at all of us peeling and chopping various root vegetables, the image of Van Gogh's "Potato Eaters" continued to come to mind. The painting illustrates the potato harvesters gathered around in a small room cleaning and eating the potatoes they've just taken from the ground. Much like Van Gogh's rendition I was told that a lot of the food we'd be eating was harvested from various local farms.
When we finally sat down to eat, all of the residents had made their way to join the festivities. We all sat together laughing, eating and enjoying the various favors of beets!
The menu for tonight included: