Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

How To Make Pickled Beets

Canning Your Own Food, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Growing Your Own Vegetables

On July fourth I pulled-up my pea plants.  They were on the down-side of producing and the heat finished them-off.  I'll plant a second crop closer to fall when things cool down. I also picked the first of the beets.  And we've been picking them ever since.

When my dad was alive he and I raised beets in the garden and he could be counted-upon to help with their care and nurturing and finally the pickling.  Dad adored pickled beets.  Come to think of it all of the old timers in the family like pickled beets.  Me too.

Save out the tender tops from your smaller beets and give them a soak in cold water to remove any grit. 

You'll be glad you did.

Sautéed beet tops are not only delicious - they're chock-full of vitamins and minerals. 

Anyway, until now I've had a stretch of three years that my beets have failed.  They either germinated and died or never germinated.  This year has been different.  As a matter of fact I've already sown a second and third crop so that I have continued production.

If you like pickled veggies here's a step-by-step guide to pickling your own beets.  They're a terrific side during the holidays and awesome on a toasted peanut butter sammich.



Pickled Beets

A bunch of garden beets

2 medium garden onions – peeled and sliced

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 sticks cinnamon

1 T whole allspice

1 ½ t kosher salt

3 ½ cups apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cups water

Hose-off your beets on the grass. 

Trim-off the tops leaving a couple of inches of stem and the tap root. Reserve the tops from the smaller beets for sautéing greens.  Soak the beets in a sink-full of cold water to remove the remaining grit. Transfer them to a pot of boiling water and cook 30-40 minutes until tender. Add your beets to the pot beginning with the largest first.  Periodically add more progressing from larger to smallest. This way they will all be cooked-thru at the same time. Transfer the cooked beets to a sink-full of cold water to cool. 

Combine everything else except the onions in a non-reactive pot and bring the brine to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Returning to the sink slice-off the beet tops and tap roots allowing the skin to slip-off. Set aside your whole beets. Keeping the residue of beet tops, skins and roots in the sink makes clean-up a snap. 

Slice the beets and pack into pint jars. Apportion the raw onion uniformly among your jars. Remove the cinnamon from the pot and ladle the hot brine over beets leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Add lids and rings and process pints 30 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yields six pints.

Helpful tips- Use non-reactive cookware. When canning - cleanliness is right up there with Godliness. A dishwasher will sterilize your jars. Boil water in a Pyrex measuring cup for sterilizing your lids. Make sure your lids have 'popped' before storing in your root cellar.

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