I decided to try a variation on making some "apple head dolls" that I have often seen at tourist shops in the South (mostly in Arkansas). Since I didn't try this when the beets were fresh, they were a little spongey, and didn't carve easily. After using an exacto blade to make crude faces, I put the "Beet Heads" under a couple of lamps and let them dehydrate for several days. They got a little twisted up in the process...more than I expected. They might dry more uniformly, if the tough outer skin is removed completely.
After adding some details with acrylic paint, the "weird little experiment" worked out after all. (But now I have no idea what to do with them...I suppose I could hang 'em on the tree at Christmas.) My wife said the thin one looks more like "St. Nick", whereas the fatter one is definitely a "Santa". Personally, I was thinking more along the lines of wood-gnomes, or Rip Van Winkle. Hey, next time, maybe I'll try dehydrating a "Watermelon Head"! (Maybe not.)