Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Watched (and Curved) Pot Never Boils

A few weeks back my husband and I were blessed with over 9pounds of beets.  Oh how we love them, even though the boys don't want to try them in the least. Dearest husband was so helpful in the kitchen...I thought I had died and went to Heaven.  He rarely steps foot in the kitchen (unless it is to eat or make something if desperate measures-ie Mommy is out at meal time).  Throughout this rare occurrence I think he did more work then myself (including the dishes).  Fun/interesting fact: if you have a flat glass cook top for your stove, do not try to boil water for canning with a curved or rigid top.  It NEVER happens.  We tried (and waited) from 4pm to 1am; checked at 3am and 6am and still nothing.

Pickled Beets
adapted from:

7pounds of beets
5 medium onions
4 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
2 t pickling/canning salt
2 cinnamon sticks, omitted
2 whole cloves, omitted

Trim tops from beets (except for 2inches worth). Wash, rinse and drain. Sort for sizes. Fill a LARGE saucepan with water (about 1/2 deep).  Boil over medium heat. Add larger beets; cook for 15minutes. Add medium ones cook for 5 and lastly add smallest and cook for 5. Drain (and lose the liquid).  Cool; cut off remaining stems.  Peel.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices.  Meanwhile in a medium size pan combine vinegar, salt, sugar and water.  Place cinnamon sticks and cloves in a cheesecloth (tied shut).  Add to vinegar mix. Bring to a low boil.  Add onions and beets; simmer 5minutes. Remove spice bag.  Fill hot sterilized jars with beets and onions (leave about 1/2-3/4inch headspace).  Add hot vinegar solution (repeat with headspace).  Remove air bubbles with a skewer (again tamp down for headspace).  Wipe off lip of jar.  Place on lids and bands. Tighten slightly.  Place in a water bath and process according to altitude.
0-1000feet: 30minutes
1001-3000feet: 35minutes
3001-6000feet: 40minutes
6000+feet: 45minutes

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