Most of the time when I’m not working, I’m writing fiction. But once in a while I also like to make jams and bread and butter pickles. This is a relatively new skill so now and then I try something new. In The Christmas Tree Shop I picked up a package of Mrs. Wages Pickled Beets.
The recipe sounded like a much spicier version than the plain boiled beets I occasionally eat, and I hoped they’d be a bit tastier and crunchier than beets in a metal can. I’m happy to report they’re delicious. Below is a step by step guide, with photos of the process. I honestly forgot to read the ingredients on the package so don’t know what’s in that spice package but the link is here so you can buy your own. I highly recommend it.
To start, buy 4 1/2 lbs of beets. Since beets are sold with the greens attached I had a tough time weighing them. I ended up buying seven bunches which contained three beets each.
Next, cut off the greens and scrub the beets. I used a potato brush. Immerse the beets in boiling water and then simmer for 25 minutes till tender. The water will turn blood red which, as a horror writer, I thought was a nice visual perq.
Once they’re done (you can stick a fork in one to make sure) drain them.
For the next step, wear gloves unless you want your hands dyed red for days.
Peel the beats. The skin will slide off in your gloved hands once you start to remove the peel. Soon you’ll have a bowl full of bright red shiny beets. Rinse off in a colander to remove all the skins.
Meanwhile, sterilize your jars and keep your lids in a bowl of boiled then simmering water.
To the sliced beets, add: package of mix, 1/2 cup horseradish, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup white vinegar. Mix together and heat to boiling. Then simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from stove. Add one sliced onion. The recipe calls for one or two but I just added one.
Ladle the mix into hot jars. Fill with liquid to leave 1/2 inch of headspace. If you don’t have enough liquid (I didn’t) then mix vinegar and water 3:1 ratio and use that to fill. Top the jars with lids and seal.
Cool to room temperature and then keep refrigerated. They are ready to eat after 24 hours.
Tracy Carbone is a fiction writer and canning hobbyist. Please visit her website for a list of blogs, recipes and all things literary and scary.