We were visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins. It was a warm, summer day, as I remember it. I do remember that but I don’t remember how old I was. My brother, two cousins and I were playing in the back yard and something prompted me to come inside, possibly the need to use the downstairs bathroom, where the wall was adorned with macaroni art spray-painted gold. (It was a wonderful creative, artsy-crafty household.) Nearby, the adults were sitting around the kitchen table.

cold borscht

And there it was. Creamy, raspberry pink and––in my memory at least–– in tall fountain glasses (it may not have been.) A shake, maybe made with strawberry ice cream and all kind of other goodness. Maybe I stared.

“Would you like a taste?” someone said. (I assume it was my mother.) Of course I would. It looked positively delish. So I took a sip.

It was not raspberry. It was not strawberry. It wasn’t fruity at all. It most definitely did not contain ice cream.

It was creamy, alright — from the sour cream– but it was way more sour than that. Worst of all, the beautiful pink was the result of not berries but… beets.

It was borscht. Oh The Horror.

I think I ran I ran from the room. And I have been running from beets ever since.