When I was a kid my grandfather had a huge garden. A garden that fed him, a wife, five kids, and eventually five kids' spouses and thirteen grandchildren. Fresh green beans (or snaps as we called them back then), corn, potatoes, beets, melons, and on and on and on. I remember every summer I would spend a week or two at their house. In the afternoon, we would sit in the living room with two big buckets and we would "snap" the beans while watching The Guiding Light. (Oh the good 'ol days!)
My grandmother would can veggies all summer long and we were never ever without. Up until my late teens, I'd never eaten a green bean that didn't come out of that garden. And the only way I'd ever eaten a beet in my entire life was my grandmother's pickled beets.
When I moved into my first apartment, I tried very hard to recreate some of the meals I grew up with. I will never forget the first time I saw a can of beets in the grocery store. I was sooooo excited to go home and batter and fry some white summer squash and eat beets. I remember that first bite of canned beet....um, ah, this is NOT what I was expecting. I immediately spit it out and called my mother. "What WAS that?" I asked her. All she could do was laugh at me and explained how spoiled we were. I was horrified!! I'm still looking for the perfect pickled beets that can come anywhere NEAR my grandmother's!
So in this age of super centers and fancy "green" grocery stores, take a minute and remember the good times out in the garden. Plant a tomato or visit a local pick your own farm. It'll do you good!