Pickled Beets

3 big beets. I would never have believed you, if you told me that 3 beets would fill up a quart, a pint, AND a jelly jar. These beets were huge. I almost didn’t buy them because they were so big. But I did. I originally thought there would be enough for a pint jar and maybe some to stick in a bowl for later in the week. Immediate consumption. I wasn’t ready for canning. I hadn’t sterilized my jars. Or lids. They were clean already, then I washed them again, but that’s as good as I got it on the front end. I processed for 30 minutes according to part of a recipe I found somewhere online. This seemed about right since I knew that jams/jellies are usually processed much less (if at all) due to their high acid content. These are beets which I guess are lower in acid, but the brine is half vinegar. Hopefully that counts for something.

Processing the Pickling Beets - sort of. I don't have a pot big enough to cover the quart jars like you are supposed to. :/

The jars were so pretty – 3 different sizes, full of pretty red brine and beets, that they needed a little outdoor photo shoot.  Inside the house, the pictures all seemed to look black and ghoulish. Like I was saving the internal organs of some beast slaughtered for the Sunday meal. No. Just beets. You should have seen my hands – no one was around to photograph those, but let me just say that those episodes of The Office where Dwight has been harvesting the beets, or whatever he’s doing with them…my hands could have stunt-doubled for Mr. Schrute’s. So pretty, I had to take them out to the garden. The jars of beets. Not my hands.

Pickling Beets visit the garden

I didn’t follow an exact recipe, but I used these two as guides. I also added star anise to my brine, and made sure to include one or two in each of the jars as well as a cinnamon stick.

Some things I would do differently next time:
sterilize my jars.
sterilize my lids.
do something to avoid the settling of the ground ginger and dry mustard (if possible? see below).
I reserve the right to add more to this list after I taste them.

Dry mustard & Ground ginger

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