June 9, 2009: The Beet Goes On!

The "beet" goes on, the "beet" goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

The first quart of pickled beets of the year! I basically used the same recipe that I used last year, but increased both the beet cooking liquid and the sugar. In a week or two I'll let you know if I like it any better. I thought last year's recipe was a bit too vinegary.

*Important Note*

This recipe might be fine if you are going to refrigerate them and eat quite soon, but after reading the newer canning guidelines, it doesn't have a high enough vinegar to water ratio to be completely safe for canning.

Pickled Beets
makes 4 pints

24 small beets
2 cups cooking liquid (original recipe calls for 1 cup)
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups cups sugar (original recipe calls for 1 - 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp. salt (I used much less, about 1 tsp.)
6 whole cloves
1 (3") stick cinnamon
3 medium onions, sliced

Remove beet tops, leaving root and 1" of the stem. Cover with boiling water; cook until tender. Drain, reserving 2 cups liquid. Remove skins and slice or quarter larger beets (I left the small beets whole).

Combine reserved cooking liquid, vinegar, sugar and salt. Add spices, tied in cheesecloth bag (I just dump 'em in, bagless). Heat to boiling.

Add beets and onions; simmer 5 minutes. Remove spice bag.

I then poured it all into a clean quart jar, and it's sitting on my counter until cool enough to refrigerate. The aroma is delightful! It only made one quart, but there was a lot of pickling liquid left over.


  1. I will be trying this recipe once my beets start producing something. I too found my relish to be too sour last year.

  2. Beautiful beets Granny!!!

    And you canned them the same day you picked them! Awesome!

    You inspired me to have pickled beets for dinner tonight. I canned some 2 years ago.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe... I've added to my recipe program!

    As I was working in the garden today... I noticed that my beet seedlings are up! Yeah!
    Can't wait to eat the greens... they're my favorite part!

  3. OOH!! I'm SO going to have to learn to preseve things like that this year if we're going to keep on this road. Not that you do, but would you have a file on how to preserve things that you could send me?

  4. Dan, I can't hardly wait to make zucchini relish like my neighbor made last year. It's the best sweet relish I've ever eaten on a hot dog! Sweeter than most....it's habit forming.

  5. Toni, I didn't even weigh my beet greens for my harvest total, because they are all inedible due to leaf miners. Maybe my fall beets will have decent greens, they did last year.

  6. Ribbit, you betcha. Comcast.net address?

  7. I really like pickled beets. I am the only one in the house who will eat them though - so I do pint jars and only a couple. The smell is wonderful and they are so pretty in the jar.

  8. KitsapFG, we like them well enough to start the year with a quart. Once the thrill of it wears off I graduate to pints!

  9. Granny - That really looks colorful! Boy...it sure does stain clothes, though.

  10. EG, you can always use the juice to dye yourself a pretty pink shirt. I think my grandma used beet juice for lipstick and rouge (blush) too!

  11. I will look forward to the zucchini relish post, I could use a recipe for that too.

  12. Dan, I posted the recipe last year. You can find it at


    Just scroll down for the recipe.