View Full Version : canning comedy: Beets

herb girl
July 9th, 2009, 09:11 PM
We canned beets today. A 85' row yielded 67 pints. I did pickled beets, harvard beets and beet relish. My girls and I started early and here is an account of our accident prone day. :) I give this post as a warning to future beet hopefuls!

We started early this morning pulling the beets. (Formanova cylindra beets are the best!They grow up to 5 inches long and we had some at least 4 or 5 inches around. They are so easy to slice as well with great flavor.)
After we washed them and set them on the stove to boil we sat down to breakfast.

Accident #1: Beet boil over! Make note to self: never, ever walk away from boiling beets! They boiled over into the coils, they dripped down the front of the stove and they somehow bubbled so hard they dotted the walls surrounding the stove. This was my fault.

Accident #2: Beet Splash. Be very careful how you pour a pot of boiling beet water into a sink. My daughter found out the hard way and now my kitchen looks like it got a sudden case of chicken pox. The floor is pooled with sticky, pink beet juice and somebody grabbed a good towel (!) to sop up the mess with. The cabinets were streaked with pink and the backsplash looked like a work of modern art. Daughter #2's fault.

Accident #3: Jar Explosion: Okay, this one wasn't too bad, but it's a bummer to loose a jar. Just glad it was IN the pot and contained in the water when it busted.

After the chaos of canning was over I stepped back and looked at my kitchen :eek::eek::eek:! There was beet juice EVERYWHERE! Guess how long it took me to clean it all up? I mean, why not add a full and complete kitchen scrubbing to the end of an all day canning marathon! It's just what I wanted to do. :rolleyes:

July 9th, 2009, 09:17 PM
My oldest daughter refused to eat beets for many years...because of a beet mishap that happened when she was two...she was present in the kitchen when my MIL blew up a canner full of beets. Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident, but well...there were beets everywhere.

About two years ago, I convinced that the best revenge she could have on those nasty beets was to eat them :D...

July 9th, 2009, 09:40 PM
OMG, It's a miracle you weren't hurt by one or all of the above mishaps. Glad you're okay.

Herb Girl, do you have a Pressure Cooker? Not the large canner type, but saucepan size? I find that mine makes short work of cooking beets (15 minutes for a pot of large sized beets). And of course, it only uses 1/4 cup of water per batch, so it would eliminate the problem with disposing of large quantities of boiling beet water.

herb girl
July 9th, 2009, 09:42 PM
I have a pressure canner but not cooker. I was using vinegar in all my beet recipes so I did them in the regular canner.

And yep, thankful no one was burned!

July 9th, 2009, 09:55 PM
You must be a very good humored woman, HerbGirl! :D I hope you all enjoy your revenge, when you eat those BEETS!! Do you suppose you'll be growing BEETS again next year?! :eek:

July 9th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Wow, it's a good thing I never liked pickled or red beets!

I like the yeller ones. They make a great subsitute for baked potatoes. Yumm!


July 9th, 2009, 11:06 PM
Fiber artists love beet juice dye. It is a pretty color, but not for kitchen surfaces! I am glad everyone survived. Sounds like a good job for oxyclean to get rid of the juice stains.

July 9th, 2009, 11:11 PM
Fiber artists love beet juice dye. It is a pretty color, but not for kitchen surfaces! I am glad everyone survived. Sounds like a good job for oxyclean to get rid of the juice stains.

If there's no mordant in it, it should eventually come off shouldn't it???

Lye soap removes just about everything. That's what I use to make my laundry soap out of. I believe Borax removes a lot of stains. Washing soda might help too.


July 9th, 2009, 11:17 PM
Beet juice fixes itself as a dye, it doesn't need a mordant. Even if you clean it up right away, it can leave a stain on a porous surface.

July 9th, 2009, 11:45 PM
And it takes a loooooong time to naturally fade. Some sort of bleach is about the only thing to do to get rid of it.

July 11th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Herb girl,

Did ya ever try canning pickled beets by peeling them with a potato peeler instead?

I grew up canning beets with my dad and we always cooked em to get the skins off. Being the ornery:eek: sort than I am, I wanted to try a different way. So one time I peeled them with a potato peeler and packed them in my jars and put them in a cold packer for 45 mins and they came out much crisper, more to my liking.

Here is my reciepe, try a small batch to see if ya like em a little cruncher.

Mix equal parts sugar and vinegar and warm till sugar dissolves

Peel beets and cube to desired size, I usually add a half an onion to each jar

I usually add spices when jar is about half full, personal preference

Add tsp of cloves and allspice and one stick of cinnamon to each jar

Add sugar and vinegar solution

I have a cold packer and cook em off for 45 mins of gently boiling and that's it

older than dirt
July 11th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Grats on a good beet harvest. Sounds like a fun time was had by all on canning day :-)
Mine was drown at birth so replanted & they drown again. Had way to much rain this year.

July 11th, 2009, 02:30 PM
Wow..what a mess! Good thing you've got patience, and the stamina for that many jars of beets. I LOVE beets - they are way to expensive in the grocery store. I can't wait to try my hand at growing some. I'll have to note the variety you mentioned and see if I can get them out here. Thanks!