But truth-be-told, I didn’t can a thing last summer. My excuse was that it was a long, hot, pregnant summer. (Baby #4 was born in September so I was BIG in the summer of 2012.) But I think I just got too lazy to bring the big ol’ canner up from the basement. (However I know Mom and Grandma certainly didn’t stop canning while pregnant or because the canner was down a few steps!) So I promised myself that this summer I would can again.
And then my master gardener mother-in-law gave me all these beautiful candy cane baby beets.
They were perfect for The Recipe ReDux challenge of “Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar.”
The trick would be to maintain the absolutely gorgeous color of these striped beets. I searched for recipes and tips on how to maintain the red-and-white striped coloring. But unfortunately the striping disappears during cooking – but the jars do come out a gorgeous rose color as explained by Dig in the Dirt.
So in the end I used a delicious-sounding, trusted recipe from Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving. The only change I made was to add a few whole cloves. (I don’t recommend changing the amount of sugar or acid in canning recipes; adaptations to recipes from a trusted source could be a recipe for a canning disaster!)
I also made one other small recipe adaptation: I (maybe) cheated and added a few dark red baby beets to electrify the pink color in the jars. Even my girls announced “Mom, those beets are our favorite color! Pink!” (And then the two girls proceeded to have a small argument over who has had pink as their favorite color for longer!)
Have you done any canning before? What did you make – or what to you aspire to make some day?