This post is part of my REWIND series! Pretend it’s July and enjoy. 🙂
It’s been 99 in the shade here all week. So much heat and humidity has caused the garden to either accelerate growth (as in bolting lettuces) or decelerate growth (like the leeks that would prefer cooler temps).
I had noticed that my beets were just the right size for harvesting, and since the heat was doing them no good I pulled them out yesterday and did some pickling. It might seem counter intuitive to boil a huge vat of water on a 99 degree day, but when the produce is ready it’s time to can–regardless of the weather. It’s on days like this that I’m thankful for central air! I’m not sure how our ancestors processed all their food in this heat.
I used a recipe from an older canning book, it didn’t tell me how many pounds of beets I would need or how long to boil the syrup. Hopefully I guessed correctly!
The beets needed to be boiled then peeled. Most I kept whole, although there were some larger ones that I cut in half before placing into jars.
I truly enjoy food projects. Working with food makes me happy and I love to think about the time when we will open up the jar and enjoy those beets in the future. I feel like I’m really participating in the feeding of my family in a completely hands-on way.
As I worked with the beets I admired their deep red color. So much nutrition packed into those jewel-toned beauties. Growing beets has been a fun and easy, gratifying experience.
[And now a word from present day me, January 2013.] The final product was enjoyed with a few meals and shared with a special friend. These beets had that old-fashioned taste I had hoped for, and the spices gave them a bit of a holiday flair. I only wish I had more than four jars because they are already gone! I will definitely be canning beets again this year.