Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pickled Beets

Wow! It's already canning and preserving time! So much about this season has jumped up on me like the local strawberries. It only occurred to me to check the picking availability the week after everything died back. Good thing one of the vendors at the Renton Farmer's Market today had beautiful strawberries from Skagit Valley! Blueberries and raspberries have already taken up residence in the chest freezer. Tomorrow I will be processing four half-flats of strawberries. Next week a vendor has agreed to bring an extra box of pickling cukes just for me and later in the season I'm planning to can blackberry jelly, green beans, peaches, and sauerkraut at the very minimum. 

Growing good food is a lot of work and preserving that good food for the rest of the year is also a lot of work. But in our case I'd much rather be doing that than shuttling ourselves back and forth from a hospital for yet another bout with cancer (Shoshana is not the first in my immediate family to deal with cancer and the majority of the last two generations dealt with cancer or died of it). Not that diet is the only cause of such things but when your genetics are already working against you then the extra time and care will probably be worth it.

But back to yesterday. While doing other things mom spotted beautiful red beets at Carpinito Brothers in Kent so we bought twenty pounds and pickled them. 

For those who are interested in the pickling process...


One of the more difficult things about picking and canning is you need to plan ahead so as to have all the equipment hot at the same time. In this case, the beets need to cook first then you just slip the skins off in a sink of cold water.

Next is slicing them into manageable pieces and packing them into jars; I prefer thin slices versus wedges.

Then you fill the jars with the hot prepared picking juice, get the air bubbles out, apply the lids, and process in your hot water bath for 30 min.

Just before going into the hot bath.

A thing of beauty!
(Cooling in a non-drafty place)

 And, for good measure, half of a box of blueberries also from Carpinito Brothers. The other half was already in the freezer before it occurred to me to take a picture.

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