There was beetroot to harvest just a little while ago, and they were all lovely and big, too!
I got just over 1kg of it (that’s 2 pounds for my US friends), which was just enough to try out a pickled beetroot recipe I’d had my eye on for a while. Of course, the beetroot pickling happened at the same time as the cooking of the dinner, as well as some preparation for outings for school etc: why does so much of my canning happen when I’m just so busy I can’t stop to scratch myself? Why not on a sleepy Sunday when not much is happening?
Anyway, after everyone was in bed, and the canner finally got to 94 degrees and stayed there for half an hour, I produced these:
Let me tell you, beetroot pickled with cloves and cumin seed are to die for. There was also a half jar that we’d already hoed into too, but that’s not in the picture… I believe that someone was standing just out of the frame, making noises of appreciation. Yum! We’ve all been gorging on the stuff, and are almost through another jar. Just one to go!
Now we’re trying to figure out where to squeeze in some more beetroot in our bursting veggie patch, because such tasty treats weren’t in our minds when we planned it all out. We were thinking of tomatoes and basil… but that harvest storm is yet to come.
Apricot, it was, from fruit my mum harvested from her tree…
I used an American recipe, which called for less sugar, and then said to use water-bath canning to preserve the jam. I’d always just made jam the good ole Aussie way – equal parts fruit & sugar, cook to buggery and then ladle into sterile jars, screw on the tops and hope it vaccum seals… This was a new experience! And a good one. We now have apricot jam that you can actually taste the apricots in, rather than the sugar ruling the flavour. Yum!
And then I must have snapped and lost my tiny mind in some way, because I made:
L-R: tomato relish, canned nectarines, pickled zucchini (in tall jars at the back), and in front of them are dill pickles (cucumbers!). All but the tomatoes were from our garden, and were sitting gradually subsiding on our kitchen table, causing me anguish and guilt. There. Take that, produce avalanche!!
Of course, I also did it in the week that school went back for Girlchild, and I had school supplies to get for Boychild, and there were eleventy million other things to do… and did I mention that it was HOT? Well it was. So I canned at night, and muttered about the heat and humidity and did prep work for it all during the day, and sat watching the Vacola canner burble away into the night, wishing that my kitchen came with built-in foot masseur. (Perhaps I should put it on the list for the one-day upgrade?)