I suppose, if I keep this up, I’ll have to change this from a gardening blog to a canning blog. . . but I feel like it’s legitimate because I’m using my garden produce for the canning.
And there’s not a lot of actual gardening going on at my house at the moment.
So, for the update. . . I had sort of forgotten about all of the green tomatoes we’d picked last week when frost was imminent, and lo and behold, they were all still sitting in bags by the back door. (Can you believe it?!) So I figured the beets might keep a bit longer, and on Wednesday night I made Green Tomato Pickles for the first time. I haven’t actually tried them yet, but they were a snap to make, so even if they’re not fantastic it was probably worth it. At least we’ve used our green tomatoes for the first time ever! I also scrubbed up all the beets.
I boiled the beets on Wednesday night, and then last night I made them into pickles as well. It’s been pickle-palooza at our house lately! (And we don’t even really eat that many pickles—I guess we’d better start.)
As I mentioned the other day, we planted three different kinds of beets. Your basic red one (I can’t even remember what it was called), a golden one, and then the heirloom Chioggia. The Chioggia seem to have been the most prolific by far—and for some strange reason I only got one plain red one in the whole patch. Who knows why—maybe it was the germination rate of the seeds, or maybe it was something else. . . maybe Chioggias like being crowded and the others don’t.
But, in any case, here is a photo of the three different kinds.
That would be (obviously) the red one in front, the golden ones on the right, and the Chioggias in the back on the left. I did think it was very interesting that the Chioggias were so different looking from each other—one so light and two so much darker.
And here is a photo of them after they were cooked and pickled.
I must admit I find it quite disappointing how much the colors faded—in fact, they faded even more during the processing—I should have taken a post-boiled, pre-processed photo, but I didn’t. So next time I plant beets, I may go for the plain red kind (yeah, right), because they really do end up looking nicer in the jars, I think. Of course, with these we won’t have to worry about spilling and staining anything when we eat them—always an issue with that bright pink beet pickle juice.
I think I’m just about caught up on my produce at this point—we’ve got just a few more squash and a handful of tomatoes, but nothing that’s going to need mass production. We’re having company this weekend, but maybe next weekend I’ll have time to do some garden cleanup if this incredible weather holds out.