Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Beet goes on.
When we started growing beets five years ago, I couldn't believe how easy it was. Just space the seeds so they have room to grow and watch the magic happen. Since then, we've experimented with golden beets and the striped Chioggia beets. So far, the standard "bull's red" beets have prevailed in our garden. Anytime you grow your own, you need to stock up on different ways to prepare them. The list goes on for beet recipes, but if you want to preserve your beets and have year-round, here's a delicious recipe from friends in Eastern Oregon. Lucky for us, they were willing to share:
CANNING PICKLED BEETS
30 pounds of Beets results about 35 pints of canned pickled-beets. Beets of about 3-5 inches in diameter.
Recipe for Vinegar Mix (1 Batch)
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Water
2 Cups White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
The above will do about 8 pints
Clean all jars and boil jar lids. Cut the tops, leaving two inches above the beet. Do not cut the roots because it limits bleeding; scrub them with a brush in cold water. Cover beets with water and boil and cook 2-3 inch beets for 20 minutes. Cook 4-5 inch beets 30 minutes. Try to sort sizes in each batch. Cooked beets will allow you to rub skin off with some easy effort. Take them out with a slotted spoon and cool in cold water for easy handling. Once cooled, remove the peels and cut off the top and the bottom roots and wash beets in water before dicing. Prepare vinegar mix by adding the spices and liquids in a pot and bring it to a boil while stirring. After it begins to boil, let it cool as you work on other steps. The beets will be packed cold so the vinegar mix should not be boiling hot. Warm is fine. Dice the beets into about 1/2-inch cubes and fill the pint jars within a half inch of the top. Fill each jar with vinegar mix to cover beets leaving a 1/2-inch heads pace. Wipe rims, place lids and screw on rings, tight but not over tight. Put jars into the water bath canner covering the top of the jars by a half inch and bring to a boil for 30 minutes for pints. Remove and let cool. Once cool, you may want to remove rings to rinse in hot, soapy water so it's easier to remove at a later date. Store in a cool storage area.