I’ve always been a fan of beets. There’s something earthy and humble about them – all purple and concentric once you peel back a few layers. Pickled beets have been a particular favourite of mine, although until this year, I had to rely on the canning skills and kindness of friends to get my fill. My kitchen usually celebrated their arrival with a nice chocolate beet cake. But no more! This year I tackled the beet beast and managed to can 18 jars, all sliced to (almost) perfection. Here’s what I learned along the way…
1. The ingredient list is short. Just vinegar, salt, sugar and water – plus, of course, the purple beauties themselves.
2. Beets aren’t nearly as attractive raw and untrimmed as they are cooked and with their tails cut off.
3. Beets are tricky to peel with gloves on – so much so that I’d risk purple-stained fingertips to do it without them.
4. Beets are even trickier to slice into near-perfect 1/2 inch thick rounds. Gloves are also over-rated in this exercise.
5. There’s nothing more satisfying than filling a lot of jars with beety goodness.
6. Even if you end up with dozens of jars, once you’re found out as a keeper of beets, they’ll be gone before you know it!
7. And then you’re left with only fond memories and beet stains until next season :(.
Happy beeting, friends!