It is time to move past berries and start getting into vegetables.
In case you have ever wondered, the picture that I have been using for my header is a jar of pickled beets. I think pickles make as nice of gifts as jam, so nobody is surprised when they get a jar of pickles from me.
This pickled beet recipe is based on a recipe from Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook. I really like this cookbook, but it should be pointed out, that the canning instructions in it need to be updated, as this book still uses the open kettle method. Yield is 3 pint jars.
3 pounds beets
3 cinnamon sticks (about 2 inches long)
6 whole allspice
12 whole cloves
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
Boil beets until tender (20 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the beets). Drain and rinse under cool water. Remove the skin. If the beets are very small, they can be left whole, other wise either slice or cut the beets into chunks, whichever you prefer.
Combine vinegar, water, and sugar, and bring to a boil.
Place 1 cinnamon stick, 2 allspice berries, and 4 cloves in each jar. Add beets. Pour hot liquid into the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add lids. Process for 10 minutes in a water bath.
High altitude instructions
1,001 - 3,000 feet : increase processing time by 5 minutes
3,001 - 6,000 feet : increase processing time by 10 minutes
6,001 - 8,000 feet : increase processing time by 15 minutes
8,001 - 10,000 feet : increase processing time by 20 minutes
Beets (like other vegetables) are low acid, so they must be processed in a pressure canner in order to prevent botulism.
Boil beets until skins slip off (15 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the beets). Drain and rinse under cool water. Remove the skin. Cut as desired (they can be sliced, cubed, or baby beets can be left whole). Place in pint jars. An optional 1/2 tsp canning salt can be added if desired. Fill with hot water leaving 1 inch headspace. Process with the pressure canner method at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes.
For quart jars, use 1 tsp salt (if desired) and process for 25 minutes.
For altitudes above 1,000 feet, use 15 pounds pressure.