A mystery of beetastic purportions

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It was July 31st, a day I thought would be like any other day. The sun shone bright, the air was clean, the veggies sat in their baskets at the market or comfortably in their soil-y haven, that is… except for one veggie…. those beets never had a chance…

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Those beets were boiled, sliced, peeled until nearly unrecognizable… bleeding all over the counter and the sink uncontrollably… ok enough enough, you caught me red handed (literally my hands were stained for hours). I am the beet murder… and I don’t regret it one bit. I made the most delicious C3 pickled beets I altered from a recipe in the Put’em Up!  book on preserving. For 4 pints I used about 4 bundles of beets from market, the recipe says the beets can either be roasted or boiled before and then peeled. I boiled my beets and did not remove the skin (I cant even tell there is skin still on in the jar I taste tested). For the brine I boiled 2 cups white wine vinegar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons sea salt (the original recipe called for lots of sugar, but I am trying to avoid using sugar at all in my recipes, and personally, do not really like sweet pickled things). For 4 pints, I used about 1 tablespoon each of the C3 (cloves, coriander, and cumin) and divided it among the jars. I also added a few peppercorns and just a pinch of cayenne, just a pinch!

Also, I saved the water I had boiled the beets in pre-jarring and used it to dye a white shirt of mine. I first boiled the shirt in some vinegar and water (supposedly it helps the dye hold), then boiled the shirt in the beet juice, removed it from the heat, and let it soak over night. Beets create the most beautiful vibrant magenta color. My next dyes will be tumeric (yellow/orange) and possibly some teas. This is a little off track but here is a list of other veggies and spices you can use for dying: VegetableGardener !

I did some more pickling this past week too including Spicy Dilled Carrots and Curried Cauliflower. The Spicy Dilled Carrots recipe is:

  • 2lbs carrots (you can peel and chop, but I bought tiny ones and left them whole with just a bit of the greens, looks real cute)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion sliced (these can be chopped as well)
  • 1 Tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp dill weed (can use fresh dill as well)
  • 2 c white wine vinegar
  • 2 c water
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne

And the Curried Cauliflower:

  • 2 c white wine vinegar
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper

Both of these recipes are also variation from Put’em Up! Many of the recipes in this book call for sugar, so I tend to eliminate it all together or I add about 1/2-1/4 as much the amount in honey. I also have decreased the vinegar amounts significantly and usually do a 1:1 vinegar:water ratio because I feel that all vinegar is much to acidic for my taste.

Happy summer!

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About Megan French

I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful soul that thinks one day we could come together to support each other in a community; support one another's services, hard-work, products, and knowledge. I hope that one day we can be global and local thinkers; supporting each other economically through local interactions and supporting the world globally by respecting other cultures and learning from them. Through local thought and community relationships we can clean up our world environments, power figures, and idea about what is most important in our lives. It all begins with knowledge and understand about how to get back to the basics: cooking, sewing, foraging, preserving, scouting... DIY for life and for the future of our society.

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