Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pickled beets

Take a bunch of beets. Leave their root and 1" of stem on, and throw them into some boiling water. Boil 'em 15 minutes, a bit longer for the big ones. Meanwhile, mix up 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups sugar, and 1 cup water and heat to boiling.

Start a big pot of water on to boil. Put a wire rack or some butter knives in the bottom of the pot, just so the jars you put into the pot later don't sit directly on the bottom.

After the beets are done, let them cool and then cut off the top and bottom of the beet. Scrape off the skins with a knife (this is the messy part). If they're small, you can pack them whole into pint-sized jars. If the beets are large, you can slice them or dice them (I like dicing them). Pack them into jars, pour enough of the vinegar/sugar liquid in the jar til it gets up to 1/2 inch from the top. Put two-piece lids and rims (available at most grocery stores) on the jars. Put the jars into the big pot of boiling water and boil for 30 minutes.

Wash the pink stuff off your fingers, and don't worry about beet juice staining your towels (at least it never has stained mine). When the 30 minutes are up, carefully take the very hot jars out of the pot and let cool. The jars will seal themselves for storage; if you push down on the top of the lid and it doesn't move, it's good. If you can push down on the lid, then it didn't seal. If it didn't, put the jar in the fridge and eat within a few weeks.

Let the jars rest in a cupboard for six weeks before opening and eating. It takes that long for the full 'pickling' to work. And then, enjoy homemade pickled beets! Yum!

P.S. Guess what I stayed up til midnight doing last night!

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