Sunday, September 19, 2010

canning and etc.

It was me and Rosemary's first foray into the wonderful world of canning. The beets were an impulse buy at the ridiculously low price of 1.77$ for 10 lbs, who could resist? Not me. I had plans for these succulent red beasts, oh yes, I did.

Canning jars were purchase at the local hardware store. They went into a pot of boiling water and were sterilized for 10 minutes.

Peeling and slicing 10 lbs of beets was a snap. You just need music, some peelers or paring knives, and a friend to natter away with about everything and nothing.

Gah! It burns, it burns! Nah, not at all, just looks cool.

We opted to steam the beets rather than boil them in order to preserve some nutrients. I discovered my silicone colander doubles as a steamer. Bonus!

Two basic pickling recipes were decided upon. A classic style, and an Asian inspiration. You can't get more classic than an olde tyme recipe from Charlevoix, taken from this here recipe book.

Two parts organic apple cider vinegar, one part water, 2 tablespoons salt and herbal magic: cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme. The Asian pickle juice was made from 2 parts rice vinegar, 1 part umeboshi vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and a whole whack of minced ginger and garlic.

Then we played around with spices, as you can see. Fennel, nutmeg, cinnamon.

Ready to be doused.

Once the jars are filled, you seal them in boiling water for 20 minutes.

You hear the most satisfying "ping!" sound when the jars' seals are created. Music to my ears.

10 lbs of beets turned out to make 12 and a half jars. We had some sterile jars that couldn't go to waste so shoved some cabbage and onions in there.

Baby plantlets and orchids. So cute it hurts.

This is an experiment worth waiting for. I'm all about all kinds of experiments these days and the results have been surprising, unexpected and quite enjoyable. In a month I'll know how the beets turned out. I'll keep you posted.

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