I'm a Southern farm girl...who doesn't like beets. I think I may possibly be the only person in my family that doesn't like them. Unlike my grown-up love for broccoli, my beet palate never developed in an enjoyable manner.
Since my husband enjoys them on occasion and my parents had plenty in their garden (which they are fun to harvest) I decided to be a loving wife and try my hand at canning/pickling beets.
1) Rubber Gloves are your friend if you do not want stained fingers
2) No matter how neat you try to be your kitchen will still look like you slaughtered something large.
It's definitely interesting to note the change during cooking. It goes from black lumps boiling in a pot that smells (as my friend Beth put it) like cooking dirt to an aromatic pot of jars that are truly a beautiful deep fuchsia color. I love the end result and while messy, it really is easy. I may (or may not) do some more. Why? Because I can and they are free...and if Armageddon happens I can choke down beets to survive. LOL
To Can beets:
Boil with parts of the tops (stems) on to reduce "bleeding". When soft, remove tops and roots. quarter or half depending on size. Place in clean hot jars. On stove boil 1 cup water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of sugar. If you have whole cloves, place about five in each pint jar. If you have crushed cloves use about a tablespoon in the boiling mixture. Once it comes to a boil, pour the hot liquid over the jars. (you may have to make more if you have a lot of jars. Mine did about 4 jars but I didn't pack the beets tight. Place lids and rings on. In a large pot or canner, place the jars completely submerged (to a 1/2 inche over the lids)and bring to a boil. Turn off and let cool slightly. Remove the jars and let cool and dry.