Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day of Preserving

I spent the day preserving my harvest.  I canned and dehydrated some things that I picked last night.  I also picked more veges this morning so I canned those too.  For me canning season normally starts with canning green beans.  I normally will do a batch of jelly or jam in late spring or early summer.  But my canning season seems to officially open when the first harvest of green beans are ready.  It seems after that I don't stop canning until late fall. 

I have a lot of green beans still in my pantry from last season so I decided to make up some pickled dill beans.  My family loves these more than pickles.  Last year I only made up one batch of them. And we used them all up.  So I made 24 pints of "dilly beans" this year.  To get the recipe and instructions look at my post on Dilly Beans.

I then made the zucchini and yellow summer squash into some zucchini chips.  To see how to make these look at my post on Zucchini Chips.

I then canned 7 quarts of green beans.  We ate some yellow beans for lunch.  Then I started on the beets.  I thinned out part of a row of beets this morning.  There were a bunch of large ones in there.  I had a few jars of beets left from last year too.  Only 2 people in our family eat beets so I normally don't do a lot of them.  My son likes pickled beets better than just cooked beets so I decided to can a batch of pickled beets.

You basically prepare your beets the same way as if you were canning them.  Except when you are pickling them you cook them until tender. Cut the stems off the beets leaving about an inch. Leave the roots on and wash real well.  Then sort them by size and cover them in water and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender (about 25-30 minutes depending on size).  I cooked mine in two batches.  I put the smaller ones in together and cooked for 25 minutes.  I put the larger ones together and cooked for 30 minutes.  Drain the beets and let cool.  Cut off stem and roots and slip off skin.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices. 

To make syrup bring 4 cups vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 2 cinnamon sticks, 12 whole cloves, and 12 whole allspice to a boil.  Add the beets (about 7 pounds for this syrup, if you have more just make more syrup) Simmer for 5 minutes.  Put beets in clean and sterilized pint jars.  I put the cinnamon sticks in a few jars and let the allspice and cloves go into the jars too.  Cover the beets with vinegar mixture leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. I ended up with 9 pints of pickled beets.

I picked a few carrots too.  I think I might try making some pickled carrots tomorrow.  If  I have the energy to!!


Anonymous said...

Great post! You got a lot done! Thank you for linking this up at the Carnival of Hone Preserving.

The Palmetto Woodsman's Journal said...

Preserving is almost a lost art. And a skill that is pretty essential to survival. It's been set aside for the convenience of a grocery store....