UPDATE! The two men in these pictures are my father-in-law and my husband. They did help us a lot and did some jar packing. We are lucky women to have these two men in our lives! Love you honey!
Well I haven't got much sewing done this week. The little ones allergies had him coughing, so the doctor is where we went Monday morning. His Dr. Is a nice woman, has six kids of her own, and a lot experience. She put him on Singular at night and he is doing better. On the way home, we stopped at the park and walked around the lake, until we got a call for cheesecloth from my mother-in-law, she had beets, a lot of them. Could we please stop by with cheesecloth and help. She had (5) five gallon buckets of beets.
There is a lot of work to canning beets. Washing, cut tops to 2", boil once until the skins will slide off, cool in cold water. Cut the rest of the top off, then peel (if they have boiled long enough most of the skins will slide right off) don't boil to much or they will get mushy and you have to eat them in a day or two. Cut the bottom root off.
Next stage: You slice them into slices or chunks to fit in canning jars. Then put the slices in a large pot. This is were cheesecloth comes in, you put your pickling spices (you can find the recipe in any canning book, my mother-in-law likes the Ball canning book) in the cheesecloth and put a rubber band around the top. Put enough water in the pot to cover the beets. Once the pot comes to a boil, simmer 10 minutes. Then they are ready to pack into jars. You see I said HOT so be careful, you can really get a nasty burn if you get the hot liquid on you. Use a spoon with holes in it to scoop the beets up and put them in the jars. Then when the jar is full use a ladle to fill the jars with the juices in the pot to just below the top. Use a clean rag to make sure there is no juices or anything on the rim of your jar. (it will not seal if anything is on the rim). Now your lids should be simmering in a little pot of there own. Use tongs to pick one up and put it on the jar. Then use a ring to secure the top and put it aside to wait for the "POP". That means it is sealed. My mother-in-law recommend letting the jars sit overnight on a towel, before moving them. I recommend wide mouth pint jars. I found out the larger slices go in better.
This is just what I learned canning beets! If you are interested please get a canning book and follow the instructions, not mine. I might have left something out. But, wear old clothes beet juice stains anything it gets on. It can be a family affair and a time for everyone to help out even the menfolk.
We have 25 jars of beets that should last both our families little while! If you hung in this long maybe you should learn something new too! My mother-in-law teaches me new things all the time and I enjoy the time I get to spend with her. Until Later Lisa