And there were still beets left. Luckily, a good friend of mine sent me a book for my birthday last year, CANNING For A New Generation Bold Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff.
Isn't it pretty?
It's a beautiful book with lots of pictures and sweet anecdotes, and the recipes are written with both taste and healthfulness in mind. A refreshing change from classic recipes that often call for more sugar than actual fruit (I'm looking at you, Ball Blue Book). On page 55 there is a recipe for pickled beets, which I will include below but JUST IN CASE this is found by the publisher or someone involved please just tell me that you would like it removed from this post and I will promptly do so. There is no need to make anonymous reports to the government and send them after me. TO BE CLEAR I share this only in praise of the book and I encourage people to buy it. (The internet can certainly traumatize you into hating people, especially the anonymous ones)
from CANNING For A New Generation
makes about 4 pint jars
3 pounds beets, tops removed, scrubbed
4 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup mild honey
2 teaspoons pure kosher salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Cook the beets in boiling water to cover until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Rub off the skins, trim, quarter, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set aside
In a wide, 6- to 8- quart preserving pan, combine the vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, the honey, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately add the beets; bring just to a simmer.
Working quickly, using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the hot beets (and some of the spices) to the hot jars*. Ladle or pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Use a chopstick to remove air bubbles around the inside of each jar.
I left out the parts about prepping the jars and processing because those are easy enough to find elsewhere. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. One of the best parts about this book is, I think, the way she also includes recipes in which to use the items you are canning. Which I find helpful because I gotta say, staring down a jar of pickled beets leaves me somewhat less than inspired. The suggestion in the case is for Pickled Beet and Pesto Sandwiches, which I have yet to try but to be fair, you could spread pesto on a shoe and I'd probably eat it I love pesto so much. I did taste the beets prior to canning and despite the fact that I'd subbed regular white vinegar for the cider vinegar and canning salt for kosher salt, it was pretty good!
And when it was over, I was left with a pot full of this beautiful beet juice. Seemed a shame to throw it out, so I decided to try dying something with it.
|Like, say, a dress?|
Indeed. This one is boring, but it has pockets! So I balled it up and shoved it in the pot of beet juice with a bit of vinegar added, just because it seemed like a good idea.
|Maybe it's working?|
|Seems a little messy, so I moved to the sink.|
And pulled this out!
|Oooh! It's so pink!!|
|Ohhhhhh. .... ...yay?|