Thanks to everyone who had suggestions for beets. I decided to boil
them, and then realized that when I'd cut off the stalks I'd left
substantially less than the recommended 1". Even immersing them made the
colour bleed. So, I went on to Jan's suggestion of baking them - which
turned out beautifully (most of them were quite small, so I cut the 1.5
hours down to 1 hour and they turned out just right). No fuss, no muss.
It was Jan, again, who recommended putting them, plain, in a jar
with a little raspberry vinegar... many thanks! I used half white
wine/raspberry and half apple cider vinegar and they are beyond compare.
Frankly, I'd had my doubts about beets turning out right, having never eaten
any but the prepared variety from the store, but these are simply perfect.
I think I've discovered a new veg treat.
BTW - on an aggrivating-but-not-devastating note - they were far
from easy to peel, even after baking them until they were tender. Did I do
something wrong in the prep?