Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family Recipe: Ruth's Beet Pickles

In the spirit of canning season, I wanted to share a recipe from our family's collection. I've typed it word-for-word as my Granny had it printed in her recipe notebook. I love how this recipe has absolutely no instructions for canning. Now, to learn to can, you have to either search out someone who can teach you or read stacks of books to feel even remotely confident enough to get started on your own. But back then, this was something people (ok, admittedly - women) just knew how to do. It was one more thing learned over mama's and grandmama's shoulders in the kitchen. No written directions needed. This is a tradition that skipped my mom's generation, but luckily, Paul's mom is a home preserver and passed the skill on to us.

I love beets about any way you can make them, and if they're canned, I like them especially spicy. So I think this recipe might benefit from the addition of peppers or pepper flakes of some kind. I haven't tried canning any beets yet, mainly because I haven't come across a really huge amount of them at the farmers' market. But the season for root vegetables is nearing its end, so a good deal may be just around the corner! If you have a great recipe for beets that you'd like to share, please send it my way. I'd love to give it a try!

Ruth’s Beet Pickles

2 c. sugar
1 T. whole allspice
1 ½ T. salt
2 sticks cinnamon
3 ½ c. vinegar
1 ½ c. water
Beats [sic], cooked

Heat all ingredients and pour over cooked beats [sic] in jar. Makes 7 pints.

P.S. That's a photo of radishes & swiss chard - not beets, but the closest photo I had in my farmers' market archives! 

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