And The Beet Goes On…

August 7, 2013

Last year I learned that I like beets.  Fresh beets.  Pickled beets.  (Not the canned beets my mother tried/made me eat as a kid.)  So when we planted the vegetable garden we agreed we’d plant lots of beets, and so we did, and they were almost all ready at the same time.  Growing them has been pretty easy…finding people to share the abundant beet crop with has been a little harder.

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I found a few beet lovers, ate a few beets, cajoled the kids into eating the beets and still….we had a lot of beets.  It was time to ‘put up’ beets.

Luckily, for me, My So. Cal. Girlfriend was here to spend the last few days of her vacation ‘relaxing’ on the farm.  “Perfect!”, I thought. “We’ll can pickled beets”.

And so we did…lots of them….after all what is better than spending your vacation relaxing with a friend….(while you pull, wash, trim, cook, skin, slice, fill, can and ‘put up’ beets).

As beets are a root, they are dirty, so in my very limited beet wisdom, I elected for the first step to take place outside.  This was pretty ingenious as we turned a wire mesh patio table into a giant sieve and washed the beets off with the power nozzle on the garden hose.

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The chickens got all the scraps, beet greens and rejected beets.

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The only real problem with ‘putting up’ the beets is that, although I had a willing helper slave.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, which seems to be a recurring theme in my life now that I am living in the country.  We filled my giant pot, but even that wasn’t big enough for the amazing beet harvest.

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The jars were ready, the pickling sauce ready and my Beet Slave helping to cool beets…

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The peeling cutting slicing began complete with the ever reliable beet juice turning everything in their wake a rosy red.

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It was about at this point that I realized I did not know how long the beets were suppose to be boiling in the canner.  As I am really committed to not making anyone sick, I really wanted to get this part right.  There was only one thing to do….a life line…phone a friend.  I called my Neighbor Gal.

“I have an emergency canning question!”

“Oh, my goodness, okay, hang on.”

We reviewed the situation, conferred over whether the water should be boiling if the jars were no longer hot….how long they needed to stay in the boiling canner… gave me lots of good information and then to be safe told me to double-check the internet….  She ‘puts up’ fruit, not beets.

We reviewed the information moved forward on a plan, gave the chickens more beet scraps (I won’t be surprised if we start getting red eggs), washed red beet juice off of everything and sat back to relax….19 jars of beets all ‘put up’.

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Want some pickled beets?  Come on by!

  • Steve

    You are funny! Those are going to be some healthy eggs!

  • Shelagh

    Save some for me I love beetroot!
    Thrilled to see the tea towel I sent hanging in the picture xxxx

    • Ellen

      You got it! Who knows if the timing is right, perhaps you will be the helper slave next year!

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