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Stockpiling III

bethini had a pickle party and nobody was invited but her and Gojira becuase THAT’S WHAT MAKES A PICKLE PARTY Y’ALL. Tight. (Also a friend dropped by and asked how it was going. It was going well.)

I did relish; I did carrots; next up: backyard sourcing. Time to harvest some beets, friends.

Harvest!

Frosts are coming and these babies have been in the ground since spring. I have no idea when beets are ready, so I figured they’re ready when I’m ready. Cos that’s how I roll. Pulled them up and got ready to RUM-BLLLLLLE!

There are two sides to successful beet pickling: the beets and the brine. (A third, silent side: clean, warm, dry jars: get those suckahs boiling early so that you can take them out and air-dry while you’re chopping your cooked beets.) I like to roast my beets with rosemary, peppercorns and olive oil, inspired by Alton Brown’s recipe. When they’re tender, let them cool and peel them (if you’re impatient, as I am, you can peel them while hot, but it’s trickier). Then slice. Meanwhile, get the brine hot and juicy: equal parts white vinegar and water, plus half a part of white sugar and a couple of generous tablespoons of salt. Bring it all to the boil while the beets are cooling. Chop a purple onion into half-moons, then layer: you want layers of onion and sliced beets, with a few sprigs of rosemary and whole peppercorns throughout. Then pour the hot brine over the lot, making sure they’re covered. Voila! You just pickled beets, my friend.

I love beets. I really really really do. On sandwiches, in salads; with goat’s cheese and walnuts; with rocket, with olives and cucumber — or, if we’re honest, straight from the jar while I wait for my toast to cook. Plus I grew them myself. Plus they’re super pretty:

Pinker than anything in the whole entire world probably.

I love ’em. And I love making use of the garden: these beets grew because the plants wanted somewhere to stockpile sugars and nutrients for next season. So they grew big, sweet bulbs on their roots. Bulbs I like. Bulbs I want to roast and pickle. I’m stockpiling: beets won’t grow all winter, but now I’ve got enough to see me to the next crop. I call it a win.

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