This has been the summer of pickling for me. Know that Portlandia sketch?
The one where they pickle everything? Yeah, that is totally me right now. I blame beets. Beets started my whole summer obsession with pickling. You see, we have this neighbor, Pete.
Pete has a garden that puts mine to shame, I mean his garden makes me want to cry is it so awesome. And he is very generous with letting me come over and pillage his garden. Every time I go up to our summer ranch, he invites me over and lets me pick produce (like once a week, between my garden and his, I haven’t bought produce in months). Needless to say, I’m a pretty big Pete fan right now.
Want to know the really funny thing? I don’t like most of the things I am canning. Actually let me re-phrase that, I didn’t like most of the things. I finally tried the beets and they were amazing, why didn’t anyone tell me pickled beets are good?
I’ve decided to share some of my pickling recipes. Not that I am making anything that is super rare, or you can’t already find on the internets….
I got this recipe out of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. I modified it slightly after lurking a bunch of other recipes. I am very happy with the finished product.
(this makes about 6 pints of pickles beets)
3 quarts beets (like 12 big ones)
2 cups white sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
3 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cup reserved water from boiling the beets
This is what you do:
Wash the beets really well.
Place them in a large pot and boil until a fork is easily inserted (I cut them in half to shorten the cooking time).
Once your beets are cooked the skin should slip right off.
Slice or cube your beets. Combine all ingredients except the beets, in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks.
Pack beets into hot jars (I put my sterilized jars in an 180 degree oven and use as needed), leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Ladle hot liquid over the beets, making sure to leave the 1/4 inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles.
Adjust the two piece caps.
Process pints or quarts (I used pints) for 30 minutes in boiling water.
The older I get the more and more I am realizing how lucky I am/was, to be born into a family that valued canning and pickling. I have wonderful memories of both side of my family canning fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies in the summer. I know many people are intimidated to try and can because it is unfamiliar to them. But you guys, I promise, it’s not really that hard and when you hear that “pop” of the can sealing, it is so worth it! I urge you try it! If you have questions, ask me, I’d love to help!