Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pickled beets and the Cadillac of canning jars!

If you are a canner, you share my awe and envy every time you see a Weck canning jar.  They are so beautiful!  They are made entirely of glass, including the lid, with a rubber gasket and two little metal clips to hold it in place while canning.  In early spring, I started buying just a few.  I would love to increase the amount I have, but they are not cheap!  I have been waiting and waiting to can up some beets in these glorious jars.  My husband is from Pennsylvania, and so is my dad so pickled beets is very much a part of our taste repertoire.  I think they make beets taste soooooooooo good.

For picture purposes, I stacked the jars, but you do not want to store your jars this way.  You shouldn't do this for most jars because if there is a problem with your canning and gases start accumulating in the jars, it will pop the lid off.  You want that to happen so that you know it is no longer good.   Anyways, here's a recipe I used. 

Pickled Beets:
7 lbs. beets
4 cups 5% vinegar
1 1/2 tsp pickling or canning salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves

Trim the beets (ends and stalks to about an inch) and wash.  Bring to a boil in a pan of water until they are tender, 25-30 min. Let beets cool and throw out the cooking liquid (you can let that cool and water a part of your garden with it).  Once cooled, cut up your beets.  I made mine into 1/4" slices, but I've seen people use dices as well.  I've also seen baby beets canned whole.  You decide! Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and the water.  Use a cheesecloth for the spices or a tea infuser ball and place in vinegar mixture.  Bring to a boil and then add the beets for five more minutes.  Remove the spice bag and start filling your jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Pints and quarts are process for 30 minutes at sea level.  Since I am at a high elevation, I had to process for 40 minutes.  This recipe makes approximately 8 pints.  

Now I had leftover pickling liquid.  Waste not, want not.  In Pennsylvania, there is this beautiful creation called "red beet eggs."  Once you are done with the beets, use your liquid to infuse hard boiled eggs.  Store in the fridge over night and try them the next day.  

This is the only picture I have because the family ate them all...very quickly!  I haven't looked into whether or not these can be canned.  ???  I swear I have seen them canned but that could be my over-40 mind playing tricks on me.  Let me know if you know this is a canning recipe as well.  ???  For safety's sake until we know for sure, keep them in your fridge until all is consumed!  I hope you enjoyed this post!  Blessings to you!  Enjoy your harvest and the work of your hands!