Carefully wash any earth off the beets, but every care is needed to
avoid breaking the skin, roots or crown; if this is done much of their
color will be lost, and they will be a dull pink. Lay them in plenty of
boiling water, with a little vinegar; boil them steadily, keeping them
well covered with water for about one and one-half to two hours for
small beets and two to three and one-half hours for large ones. If they
are to be served hot, cut off the roots and crown and rub off the skin
directly, but if to be served cold, leave them until they have become
cold and then cut into thin slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper and
pour some vinegar over them. If to be eaten hot, cut them into thin
slices, arrange them on a hot vegetable dish and pour over white sauce
or melted butter, or hand these separately.