Until last year, hubby and I both assumed we hated beets. But then we discovered what we like to call Beet Crack, and our lives haven’t been the same. Simply roast beets in the oven until soft. Then peel and toss in a food processor with feta cheese. Puree until smooth, and spread gleefully on fresh bread or crackers. Repeat.
It didn’t occur to us to preserve any beets for the winter, but we won’t make that mistake again. Grabbing two extra bunches from our CSA farmers, the kitchen was turned into a fuchsia-soaked pickling zone yesterday afternoon.
The recipe was easy enough, and the first jar had just gone in the boiling water bath when, out of nowhere, I heard, “KA-POW!” For the first time in four years of canning, one of those suckers exploded. Thankfully, I wasn’t standing anywhere near when it happened, and honestly, it sounded much worse than it actually was.
Once my heart rate dropped below tachycardia levels, I surveyed the damage. The glass had broken into three giant, easily identifiable chunks, and the beets had been blown to the other side of the pot.
So into the sink they went for a thorough washing, and out came the broken glass. More fresh water had to be boiled for the water bath, but at least the roots were salvaged and placed in a new container.
The jars are settling on the counter now, but we’ll do a little quality check soon and report on the taste test. As a side note, don’t throw away the tops and stems while preparing the beet roots. Brad will share his favorite recipe for greens in an upcoming post.
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