I wonder if it's possible to process beets without the kitchen and cook looking as if something awful happened?
Today I started harvesting beets to use in making pickled beets. Last year I made only 7 pints pickled and put the rest up frozen to use as a hot veggie with butter, salt and pepper. Well, we went through those 7 pickled pints lickety-split so I knew this year I wanted to do many, many more. (And we still have some of the frozen ones patiently waiting in the freezer to be eaten.)
The great beet project didn't start until after noon so I got only one batch done. The goal is to do at least two batches tomorrow.
So far I've had to wipe beet red splatters and splashes off the white kitchen cupboards, side of the refrigerator, the stove top, the wall above the sink, the floor, miscellaneous counter tops, the kitchen table, my face, my arms up to both elbows . . . and, um, does beet juice stain? As on a white blouse? It's an old blouse that I wear in the garden because it's cool and comfortable but the red splotches on the front don't make it look any better.
Ask me why the jars of pickled beets cooling on the counter are ve-e-e-ry sticky. Seems as soon as I loaded the jars into the water bath canner, I heard a very sharp C-R-A-C-K. Yup, I knew a jar had cracked. That doesn't happen very often but as all of you who preserve by canning know, it does happen. My water was boiling and there were six good jars in the canner so nuthin' I could do at that point except let the jars go the allotted time and clean up the mess when the beets were finished being processed.
Actually, it wasn't as much of a mess as it could have been. The break in the jar was clean and although juice leaked out immediately, the jar held together enough that the beet slices all stayed contained in the jar . . . until I tried to life it out of the canner.
I didn't set up the sprinkler in the garden today as I had intended to do so we're hoping for some rain overnight. Showers are in the forecast on and off for the next couple of days. Hope they don't pass us by.
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