I am behind on blogging and on reading everyone else's blogs. Hope to catch up this weekend! This week has just been too busy, and I was blow-drying yet another godforsaken duck tonight. Don't ask. They are driving me nuts.
I am LOVING all the duck limericks, and owe you contributors a few comments. Stay tuned. The limericks are wonderful! :)
I managed to pickle some beets last week. I grew a lot of chioggia beets this year, and I also seemed to have a few albino beets but the whole mix was a tad paler than you might expect. A little pink! I wasn't planning on growing albino beets this year, so I must have mixed up some seeds last year. I found the lack of colour unappealing. Oh well! I did have some normal beets too...
Cooking up the beets and onions.
Filling up the Mason jars! I do think the colours were very pretty and jewel-like.
And into the hot-water bath. I wish I could have done more pickling this year. I need to schedule my time better.
Here's my favourite beet recipe, (the one I used here) from Bernardin:
Beet & Onion Pickles
Makes about 5 x 500 ml jars.
8 cups (2000 ml) prepared beets, about 4 lb (1.8 kg)
3 cups (750 ml) sliced onions, about 3 medium
2 -1/2 cups (625 ml) cider vinegar
2 cups (500 ml) granulated sugar
1 -1/2 cups (375 ml) water
1 tbsp (15 ml) mustard seed
1 tsp (5 ml) Each: salt, whole allspice and whole cloves
6 inch (15 cm) cinnamon stick
• Scrub beets and trim all but 2 inches (5 cm) off stems; do not cut off roots. Cook beets in boiling water, until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins by easily slipping off beets. Cut into large chunks and measure 8 cups (2000 ml); set aside.
• Place 5 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
• Combine onions, vinegar, sugar, water, mustard seed, salt, allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil gently 5 minutes. Add beets and return to a full boil. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon sticks.
• Pack beets into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top of jar. Add hot liquid to cover beets to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more beets and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining beets and hot liquid.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 30 minutes.*
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.