Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pickled Beets - Red Velvet Cupcake Honey Jelly & a Mermaid

  This is a photo of the pickled beets that I've just finished.  Wondering about the colors?  I bought beautiful organic beets & when they were cooked & peeled the inside was variegated.  The recipe was interesting as it was different from my usual one.  I wanted to can these beets & my regular recipe has jars of beets in the refrigerator.  I bought 3 pounds of beets & the yield was 1 quart & 2 points.  Here's the recipe I used:

  • 5 1/3 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 12 pounds beets, peeled and sliced
  • 6 1-quart canning jars with lids and rings


  1. In a large pot, mix the white vinegar, sugar, water, cinnamon, salt, and cloves together; bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the beets, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Sterilize the jars, lids, and rings in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, pack the sliced beets into the hot, sterilized jars, and pour in the beet liquid to fill the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a sterilized knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  3. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 30 minutes. Add more time if you are at high altitude.
  4. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.

I changed up this recipe a bit & here's my variation ~ I bought 3 pounds of beets (instead of 12) as they fit perfectly in my pressure cooker.  Did you notice that the recipe doesn't have you cook the beets in a pressure cooker?  I like my beets cooked holding as many nutrients in as possible.  By cooking them via my preferred method I can then easily peel them (you cook with the skins on) by wearing rubber gloves & rubbing the beet skins off.  I noticed that the recipe called for cooking the beets in the pickling liquid.  Since I was changing how the beets & liquid came together I substituted 1 cup of the beet liquid from the pressure cooker for the water.  [I divided the recipe by 4 based on the amount of beets I had].  The pickling liquid was exactly the right amount & 1 quart & 2 pints was ok as a yield for me.

I also wanted to try making a jam with wine & honey based on a recipe that I found.  I bought Cupcake wine at the store & loved the variety - Red Velvet.  When I found local honey I purchased a 32 ounce (2 pound) jar.  It measured out to 3 cups exactly.   Since the recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of honey (with 2 cups of wine) I had to buy a smaller jar of honey, too.  The jelly is lovely.

My sweet husband agreed to try jam if I could make it in a coffee cake.  He'd seen breakfast danish in the store at almost $7.00 a box & knew that I could beat that price.  I made a coffee cake with Blueberry Jam.  Cross your fingers that this opens the door for him.  He doesn't eat jam - at all.  Ever.  Can you imagine?  I make jam every week of the summer & he has no interest.  He didn't grow up eating pb & j so he has no interest in trying it now. 

I'm also including a photo of a card that I made for my Tea Swap partner.
The criteria for this card was that it was to reflect "where you live".  I live next to a lovely Lake & decided that if rivers have sirens - our lake could have a mermaid.  I love this little redhead & hope that my swap partner likes her, too.  She's made with a Stampendous stamp that I colored with color pencils.  I'd taken a class in CT & she was one of the cards we made.  This is a fun class program as you get to bring home a stamp after each class.  Now I can make as many mermaids as I like.  Since we have an upcoming party & I want it to have a Pirate & Mermaid theme I think she'll be making a reappearance.
How was your weekend?  I worked on Friday so this is a short one for me.  Tomorrow it's back to a long day at work.


  1. Your mermaid is lovely! Great idea on tying her in to the lake!! :o) Have a great week, Kim!

  2. really pretty Kim - your work is beautiful