Monday, September 15, 2008

Beauty and the Beet

Pickled beet brine is one of the most beautiful colors around. In a way, the beet color and the pickled flavor don't really go together, but then some of life's most surprising combinations are the best. I pulled these beets from my garden during the rain and canned them in the same day! I looked all over for a recipe that sounded good to me. Last year, an experiment with a Martha Stewart recipe left me wondering. I had to wash the pickling spice off of the beets each time I served them, and the brine was way too strong. It's always good to learn something new from a canned experience, so I officially have a few changes to make for next year.

But before I tell you what those changes are, I bet you're wondering how these pickled pretties fared? The recipe stays. It's the perfect blend of vinegar, sweetness and pickled. Minnesota State Fair Entry? Possibly. I can see the blue ribbon now. 

As for the changes; let's start in the garden. I'll need more rows of beets. Six pints aren't nearly enough to share. I'm not saying that I won't share, but do I have to? I found out that my clay-like soil mixed with mulch, black top soil and mushroom compost will produce delicious beets. Who knew? Secondly, thinning out the beets at least once should give them room to grow! My beets crowded each other out this year, which makes for a lot of small ones. Next, I'll need to consider recipes for the "greens" ahead of time. Sadly, I tossed these out instead of "in" something - like a salad. The thought of washing off the layers of sand and dirt from so many leaves was more than I was willing to try. I did however save the red liquid from the boiling stage (pre-brine) and funnel it into an empty gallon jug. It actually turns in to a murky brown sludge. I don't think my son, 5-years, will eat the beets yet, but as a self-proclaimed "scientist" he was very happy to have more liquid for his "potions". Maybe he'll be entering the State Fair along with me.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I love pickled beets. Actually, I love any beet but pickled especially.

Blog Archive