Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Beet It!!!

I did not finish the beets yesterday. I rinsed them off in the sink to get the dirt off. They will still look dirty, but that is OK. They are going to be peeled.

I put the washed beets in pots to deal with today.

Both of these pots are full of beets. The blue pot on the right is the one that I had 81 ears of corn in. It is very large. First thing this morning, I put these on to cook.

Once the water gets hot it takes 30 to 45 mins. for the beets to cook enough to allow the skins to come off easily. I started testing them at 30 mins. To test them take a couple and put in the sink and run cold water. If the skin easily peels off with little to no resistance, they are ready. If not, let them go a bit longer.

I also made my brine. I tried a new brine this year. I was going to run out and needed to make more so I went ahead and made the brine I have in other years. There was still a bit of the first one left, so it was a mixture of the two. I will give the 2 brine recipes at the end. You bring the brine to boil and then let simmer for 15 mins.
I pour the hot beets into a colander in my sink. Obviously, I was not able to pour them all in at one time. I did them in batches. These are very hot, but easily handled under cool running water. I cut off the top and the little root at the bottom. The rest of the peel just slides off.
This is what you are left with... naked beets.

The WN woman taught me a trick a couple of years ago. Instead of slicing all these hot beets, I just put them through my french fry cutter. They come out in nice easy to handle pieces and it takes almost no time at all.

After this, I filled my warm jars with the hot beets. Then I filled the jar with brine. I put my lids and rings on and they get water bathed for 30 mins.

We had one 75' row of beets. From that row I got 17 pints and 14 quarts of pickled beets. Here are the jars. The last 7 quarts are still in the canner.

Brine Recipe #1

2 quarts Vinegar
2 cup Water
6 cups sugar (I thought this was a bit much)
1 Tbsp. Whole Cloves
3 Sticks Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Salt
Bring to a boil and let simmer 15 mins.

Brine Recipe #2

3 1/2 cups Vinegar
1 1/2 cup Water
2 cups Sugar
2 sticks Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Whole Allspice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Bring to a boil and let simmer 1 mins.

I believe that next time I will combine the 2. I will use both cloves and allspice along with the cinnamon sticks.

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