I said, “Beet it”

Definitely Delicious

By Terri Windover, Connect Columist


Pickled beets bring back childhood memories in this week’s Definitely Delicious recipe. Photo by Terri Windover, Connect Weekly

I grew up in a household where canned and pickled food was common, as was wild game. One of my biggest dislikes as a child was pickled beets. I seriously hated it when the juice would mix with my mashed potatoes and turn them pink… and pickled tasting.

I would immediately turn into a sulky, whiny eight-year-old. Wait… I was already a whiny eight-year-old, so I probably can’t blame the beets. Unfortunately, I grew up and retained that intense dislike for pickled beets and most other pickled things. Don’t even get me started on pickled eggs for instance. THAT subject will have me holding my nose and making pseudo gagging noises like a, you guessed it, an eight-year-old.

Because of my life long aversion to pickled beets, I would immediately turn up my nose at anyone that offered beets to me in any form, until one evening in Kelowna in 2007. I had just finished running a marathon with my friend Bonnie and we were attending the after dinner at the local Earls restaurant.

On the menu was a beautiful, succulent steak, roast potatoes and roast seasonal vegetables. Guess what the veggies were? BEETS!

My friend watched my face fill with dread and offered to eat my share and I was so tempted to take her up on the offer. Instead, I put on my big girl pants and tentatively tasted one.

Imagine my surprise when I realized it was delicious! Somewhere on the journey between eight and forty years of age my taste-buds had lost their hatred for beets. Or maybe it was just the image of those neon pink mashed potatoes I couldn’t get out of my head.

My guy Kevin loves pickled beets, but they have to be homemade. No store bought stuff for my baby. I picked up this recipe from his cousin this spring when we stayed at her house for a few days during the evacuation.

Kevin swears they were some of the best beets he’s ever had. So in honour of Kevin and our ever changing taste-buds, here’s a delicious and easy pickled beet recipe that I know you’ll love as much as he did.

For more delicious recipes and kitchen tricks along with my rants and raves visit www.therantingcook.com and for FREE fitness tips and info visit www.terri-windover@me.com.

Cousin Roses’ Pickled Beets

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4

• 4 – 5 lb small beets (40 – 48)
• 2 tbsp pickling salt
• 1½ cups white sugar
• 3 cups white vinegar
• 2 tbsp mixed pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth bag
• 1 cup water

1. Wash the beets and remove most of the tops, leaving about ½ inch of beet top remaining.
2. In a large boiling pot of water, cook the beets until barely tender.
3. Remove from the stove.
4. Submerge the beets in a large bowl of ice water, I find this helps the skins come off with more ease.
5. Cut off the tops and the roots completely, then remove the skin.
6. Peel and slice beets into preferred size, I like larger chunks and not slices.
7. Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pickling spice in a nonreactive pot and bring mixture to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
8. Add the beets to the pickling liquid and return to a boil.
9. Remove the spice bag.
10. Carefully ladle the beets and pickling liquid into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.
11. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metal utensil.
12. Add additional pickling liquid, if needed, to keep the proper headspace.
13. Wipe the jar rims thoroughly with a clean damp cloth, failure to do this can result in the jars not sealing properly!
14. Seal the jars and process for 35 minutes in a boiling water bath.

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