Friday, June 6, 2008

So Sweet Beets!

This is what I was up to this morning. Pickling Beets! My Dad gave these to me yesterday straight from his garden. He has had a garden for as long as I can remember. I remember working in it every Saturday. Forget watching American Bandstand on Saturday's. The only time I got to watch it was when it rained. But that's another story for another day.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you the process. The picture below is cleaned beets ready to boil until tender. Cover with water and boil (do not peel first, the red color will leak out into the water and your beets will be a light pink color. They still taste the same but they are not as pretty). After they are fork tender the skins slip right off. I love this part. It is fun to hold one of the beets and slip the skins right off. Very textural. I know, I'm goofy!

Next you get the jars sterilized and ready with the lids and rings. I usually put them in my dishwasher and run them through a cycle but this morning I put them in the canning pot with water and boiled them.

After I slipped the skins off then I slice them into the jars. Isn't that color just delicious? I got seven pint jars full.

Now it is time to fix the pickling juices. Remember this is pickling, which you can do in a water bath, if we were just canning them, without vinegar, then they would have to be finished in a steam pressure canner. In a small pot on the stove I have the lids soaking in hot water (not boiling) they will be ready when I am.
For four pints (I doubled it today because I had 7 pts.) you put:
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
Bring to a boil in a medium saucepot and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and fill jars. Remove air bubbles by sliding a knife (plastic is better than metal) inside the jar along the sides. Add more juice up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar and make sure all the beets are covered.

Wipe the top of the jars clean. Place lids and rings on top and hand tighten. Place in canning pot that is filled with hot water. Make sure the jars are covered by about 1-1/2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. This takes a while on my electric stove. After it comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from water bath and place on towel to cool. Make sure there is no drafts in room (like a ceiling fan right above the jars that is on, speaking from experience here). The jars can cool too quickly and break.
Aren't they lovely. I really love looking at them when they are finished. Anything I can from the garden, I love the look of them. I told you I was goofy. I put them in my canning cabinet when they are cooled off. I will take a picture of this later when I have time. It was built by my husband. I told him I wanted it built like a pie safe. It has screen on the doors in the front.

Isn't that color spectacular! (Did I say that already?) Anyway, just beautiful. And yummy too!

Hope you enjoyed my journey through Pickled Beets. Come on over and I'll share!


Needled Mom said...

L love homemade picked beets. Don't the jars look beautiful too? Have you ever thought of dying some fabric with the juices? It would be pretty.

dot said...

Oh how I love picked beets. I love the color of the juice also. I can remember making them with my mom as a kid.

Pattie said...

I don't think you're goofy at all! If those beets taste half as good as they look, I'd be hooked, too!

Thanks for sharing the recipe and the photos. It's all so pretty!

PS - Stop by my blog if you get the chance, and read about a fun summer contest I'm holding. Yes, a prize is included!

Finn said...

Hi Terry, pickled beets are my all time most favorite veggie! Your jars looks just wonderful...I do LOVE that color!! Great job on the tutorial. Hugs, Finn

harts4Him said...

Uh-Oh Needled mom, you will start something by suggesting fabric dying with the beet juice. It could be a dangerous! LOL
I will need to taste these 'delights' as I can see that many people love them.

Apple said...

All I have to say is thanks for sharing, but I do not want any. I just plan on looking at the pretty colors (and maybe helping you dye fabric with the juices?) Hmmm...just a thought.

Ready to Shrink said...

Can we place an order? They look DELECTABLE!