|Beautiful sunrise over Eye of Mordor with a full moon|
F!#% Beets! Wow. As a Sunday project I thought it would be a good idea to finally stop putting off a project that had been sitting in my fridge for a month...
So, the day started off casually. A lovely breakfast with the hubby, plans to pick up new canning jars, a trip to the grocery store for our weeks’ stock of food - just a casual Sunday. R went on a long bike ride with friends that I declined because I’ve been a bit dizzy from the barotrauma to my ears from diving. I had visions of being the perfect wife waiting for him at home with perfectly cooling jars of perfectly pickled beets in a perfectly spotless kitchen and a cup of hot tea for him as he walked in the door, cold and hungry from spending 5 hours biking up Mt. Tam. Uh huh. I look back at these photos and think “girl, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into!!”
It has been on the list of things to do to can. I’ve never done it before. Back in the fall, A & M were over for dinner and A was in charge of the salad. She brought over some pickled beets her mom made. Heaven. So. Damn. Good. So, I thought why not? Couldn’t be that hard. I asked her mom for the recipe, purchased a canning book for beginners, got canning supplies and stored them in the closet and waited. And waited... And bought beets. And thought about canning. And never got to it. Until Sunday. I started at 1:45p.
|Chopping up beets and the subsequent compost scraps|
|The final chopped product waiting for the oven|
I throw them in the roasting pan and happily toss them in the oven. An hour later, my brine is on the stove, the jars in the canner warming up. I test the beets. Not done. Another 15 minutes. Not done. Another 10 minutes, done! I take all the hot beets out, throw them in the sink full of cold water and start peeling. And they DON’T PEEL. WTF? 1.5 hours and they’re not done???!! Profanity pursues.
I sigh. Throw all the beets back in the roasting pan (keep in mind, this is probably about 10 lbs of beets in a heavy roasting pan with a few cups of water for steam), add more water, new foil and roast for another 30 minutes. And I upped the temperature. Then you’ll never believe this. The power went out. Serioulsy?! No power??! This is the city! I live in the city to have power! All the time! Whenever I want it!!! (insert twitter trending topic #firstworldproblems) The worst part was all the buildings around us had power. WTF?
The power went out for about an hour. Luckily, just as the last of the sun was disappearing behind the Eye of Mordor and Liberty Hill, *tada!* power! Back in business. I fired the oven back up, and roasted those little mofo’s for another 30 minutes. Take that beets! This time I was smarter. I took out one beet tossed it under cold water to see if it would peel. FINALLY. It peeled. I dumped the whole pan into the sink, then added cold water. And started peeling. Or sort of. #@$!!! They didn’t peel very well. But they were done. Are you kidding me?! And there was some damage to the exposed part of the beet because they were in the oven for so long. So I had to hand peel the little f#$@ers. After an hour, R looks at me, hair frizzed, hands pink, face red, back bent over the sink, crazy glazed over look in my eyes and says “honey, let’s go out for dinner.” I told him that he had to take the pairing knife out of my hands and force me to go - I was in a state.
We had a lovely meal at a new pop up restaurant called Rice Broker. YUM. Rice bowl. Tuna sashimi. Glass of red wine. Ahhhhhh...... Nuff said.
Went back home and peeled for another hour. Ah ah! Ready to go! It’s 8:45pm and finally the exciting part! The jars were heated back up, brine boiling, I eagerly tossed handfuls of peeled, cooked beets in all the jars - a total of 6; go to your home!! - excitedly poured brine carefully over it all... aaaaaaaand... I ran out of brine. Three jars in. OMFG. I felt like a kid in the grocery store who was about to throw a tantrum. You know that look they get when they screw up their face and turn red? Yeah, that was me. Thankfully R was on the phone with his dad so I couldn’t freak out. I had a silent tantrum, ran to grab our industrial size of white vingear as we didn’t have enough apple cider vinegar, and quickly threw together another batch of brine.
Whew. Deep breath.
Brine in jars. Beets in jars. Lids and rings on jars. Jars in canner. Water is boiling. 30 minutes. Halle-f$#@ing-lujah it’s 10:00p and they’re finally done.
And that my friends, is seeing red.
|You'd better be tasty in a few weeks. Or I might cry.|