9.10.2013

I Think I Can!

Ever since I moved up to NY, I have been interested in canning.  My (southern) family was never big on it, oddly enough... but it is a way of life up here.  With the amount of delicious fruits and veggies Kevin and I buy at the farmer's market, it seems silly not to try to preserve what we can to enjoy over the winter.  For some reason though, canning has always sort of intimidated me.  I'm just really afraid of screwing it up and wasting all of the yummy food.  Tonight, I decided to finally give it a go.

A coworker of mine brought in some delicious pickled beets a few weeks ago and I went crazy over them!  So, last Saturday I grabbed a huge bag full of fresh beets from the market.  I begged my coworker for her secret and decided to put my skills to the test.  As I type this, my canning project is sitting on the kitchen counter with strict instructions to be left alone for at least 24 hours... so the jury is still out on whether or not I actually made and canned something that is edible.  But... in the hopes that they turned out as delicious as my coworker's, I will go ahead and post the recipe.

Pickled Beets...  You will need:
  • Fresh beets (I used about 1/2 a grocery bag full)
  • 1 sweet/Vidalia onion 
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups White Vinegar
  • 2 cups Water
  • Allspice berries or ground Allspice
  • Whole Cloves
  • 6 canning jars, lids and rings
This yielded 5 cans (pint size, I think?)... but definitely would have made 6 if I hadn't been umm... "quality control testing" the fresh beets while I was skinning them.  :/

Boil beets, whole, for about 10 minutes.  Then skin should easily peel off and they should be softened slightly.  Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices (or whichever size/shape you prefer... smaller ones can be left whole even)

While they are boiling, slice a sweet Vidalia onion into thin slices.

Also, while the beets are boiling, run your cans, lids and rings through the dishwasher (no soap!) on the highest heat setting.  Your jars should be hot when filling them.

In another pot, bring the following to a rolling boil:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp Allspice or 10-12 Allspice berries (I used whole berries)
Place 2-3 whole cloves in the bottom of each canning jar.  Then layer the beets and onions.

Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over beets and slide a butter knife around the outside to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Place lid/ring on VERY tight.

Arrange sealed jars in a large stock pot.  And fill with water until the lids are covered.  Bring water up to a rolling boil for 10-12 minutes.  (The jars will rattle around and you will swear they are going to explode, but somehow... it's fine.  I don't get it!?)

Remove the jars and set them on a towel.  Once you have them on the countertop... DO NOT touch them.  At all.  Period.  For 24 hours.

That's it!

It really wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be.

Here's to hoping they are super yummy!!