In the summer, I only have to walk a few feet in my backyard to find something interesting to look at: a new sprout, a dragonfly, a fresh turd from a strange animal. I love the cold and snow, but there’s only so much joy I can glean from a dead Queen Anne’s Lace bud before I’m ready for warmer weather.
Thankfully, I have canned beets. I can eat beets and feel a little bit better about winter weather. They are sweet and earthy and connect me a little closer to nature.
Harvesting beets is leisurely work. Them come up easily from the soil, and both the chickens and I find the tops to be delicious.
This past summer I experimented with canning for the first time with my mother-in-law Mary. We canned plain beets and pickled beets, and now my basement is full of more jars than I can handle.
We cleaned the beets and then boiled them till they were soft and slipped through our hands like bars of soap, leaving behind their skins. My hands were stained red, and everything smelled like dirt. I loved it.
We sliced some and chunked others and topped them with water, and Mary showed me how to operate a terrifying-looking pressure cooker.
The best part of canning beets is that there are always a few left over that don’t quite make a full jar.
Beets with Dill and Sour Cream
Roast or boil some delicious beets. Slice them up. Serve with sour cream, sea salt, fresh dill, and a squeeze of lemon. Don’t try too hard.