Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beet Pickles

I was never much of a beet fan until we grew our own.  Our little garden happens to grow wonderful beets, sweet and tender.  It might be the addition of our fireplace ashes to the compost, but are they ever tasty.

When we harvested the garden the other day, there was a substantial box of beets in assorted sizes.  We didn't have what it took to deal with them just then but not wanting them to spoil before we could eat them all, we put the box down in the cold room.

They kept very nicely for the past few weeks.  After service and a nap, Saturday became the Day of Beet Pickles.  As you can see, canning is not for the faint of heart when it comes to kitchen cleanup. I used a recipe calling for honey and ACV (apple cider vinegar) so I'm proud to report these pickles are completely Locavore friendly, with the exception of a tablespoon of cloves!  

The honey is from a local farmer, the beets from our backyard, and the ACV brewed in our basement with our own apples!  If I'd had to buy that amount of natural ACV from the store, this batch of pickles would have cost over $75.  Home brewed ACV = $0.

The process went very smoothly, taking about three hours of my day.  The skins slipped off smoothly, the jar lids matched my found mason jars, Mary Klein's ripple cutter worked like a breeze.  (Because what would a beet pickle be without Mary Klein's ripple cutter?) 

You can see the big enamelled basin I recently inherited from my mom, found at a Kelowna garage sale by my Granny Maureen.  It's wonderful for those enormous batches of bread too.  Now that I have a bigger freezer, I might have to bake a couple batches of bread in bulk.  

Our smaller freezer ended up being bartered for a chop saw from a carpenter friend down the street.  (Their freezer, filled to the brim with whole salmon and other meat, accidentally got unplugged.  They said they were just glad the Eco Centre only charged them $11 to be free of it.) So it was a satisfactory trade all around.