Good morning my little sugar muffins!
When I started this blog, I found myself drawn to pretty much any blog that updated relatively frequently. It was compulsive. If someone was putting something out there, I wanted to read it! Especially if it was about food. As the blog has (and I’ve) developed, changed, and grown I’ve become more selective in my blog following. It’s true – I still waste productively spend waaaay too much time glancing into other people’s kitchens and experiences when I should be reading papers for school or working out to this…
…But I really feel that the blogs I’m reading these days are so worth the effort and love that the publishers put into them and I spend reading them. Especially the ones that are a joy to read as well as advocate for some sort of food justice whether that be cooking seasonally, accessing their food locally, raising their own chickens, or living the principals of small scale organics.
Their blogs make my heart sing. And that inspires me.
Feeling inspired by such notions as self-sufficiency, (and the relative ease of making & canning Blueberry Butter) I decided to try my hand at another preserving endeavor – making and canning my own homemade pickled beets!
Side note: I remember being a young little dumpling at my Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving or Easter or Christmas and she always had this crystal pickle dish. She’d spoon every kind of pickle I could imagine at that age into each of the divided sections – and I’d always steal the beet pickles before the tray would make it to the table. Turkey. Family. Pickles. There’s love in there for sure.
Back to the present: I had to use up the beets we had left over from our CSA box from a couple weeks ago. But there weren’t any plans for beets in the near future. What to do?? Finding myself in a bit of a pickle what else was I to do, but pickle? Plus it reminded me of Grandma – aw, Grandma.
Again, super easy. I only did a couple jars because I wanted to see what they would turn out like. And in the end, holy heaven they were tasty! Perfection, really. I’ve doubled the recipe here from what I made – this should get you a good 4 to 6 smaller mason jars though it’d be very easy for you to double this, make twice the amount and give them away as Christmas presents… Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas??
P.S. Never mind about the carrots in the pan – I was making lunch at the same time as I was making pickles. I am a master multi-tasker.
- 2 Bunch Beets, any variety, scrubbed & well dried (reserve the tops/greens for later use).
- 4 Small to Medium Sized Onions, peeled & sliced into rings.
- 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar.
- 1/2 C Organic Cane Sugar.
- 1 Cinnamon Stick.
- 1 Tsp All-Spice.
- 2 Tbsp Mustard Seed.
- Couple Pinches of Whole Cloves.
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a roasting pan, toss in the beets with a couple glugs of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Put a lid on it and roast in the oven anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size and age of your beets. If they're ground fresh, they'll roast real fast but if they're store bought, they'll take a bit more time.
- Roast until just fork tender, remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle. Trim off the ends and peel. Slice into 1/4" rounds and set aside.
- As your beets roast, you will need to sterilize your jars, lids and rings in which you want the pickles to go. You can do this in a water bath canner if you have one or if you don't just use a very deep wide stock pot with one of those old fashioned metal steamers laid out in the bottom. This will keep the jars off the bottom of the pot so they don't break. Fill the pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Using a pair of tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the ends to prevent slippage, carefully place the jars, lids and rings in the water in batches so they fit comfortably with 1 to 2" of water above the jars and sterilize for about 15 minutes. Carefully lift jars out of the water and set aside on a clean, dry surface. Sterilized!
- Now, in a large sauce pan mix together the vinegar, sugar, spices, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure sugar doesn't burn. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the beets and onions to the mixture. Stir well to combine. Heat through. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
- At this point, carefully remove beets and onions and place in sterilized mason jars, topping with the liquid, and leaving 1/4" head space at the top of the jar.
- Secure rings and lids and bring your water bath back to a rolling boil and then using your tongs, repeat the boiling process as listed above to ensure proper sterilization and seal. Remove from the bath and place on a dry, clean tea towel to cool for at least 24 hours. Enjoy those popping lids - that's a good sign!
- 24 hours later - check the seals to ensure they've stuck. Refrigerate or place in a cool, dark, dry place to keep until ready to eat.
- And then... Eat.