Archive for the 'Food, glorious food' Category

15th Jun 2008

Oops! The Beet Pickle Recipe

I should have included this in yesterday’s post, shouldn’t have I?

I got this recipe from the Spouse’s grandmother way back, even before the Spawn was born. Every year, I’d do up at least one batch (sometimes I did several batches as they were consumed) and, for as long as we lived in Metchosin, I entered a jar of them in the Luxton Fall Fair. I’m happy to say that these beet pickles won first prize at said fair for four years running.

The yield of the original recipe is 4 pints; I have doubled, trebled, and even quintupled it (yes, I had to look that word up!).

4 quarts of small beets
3 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tsp. pickling spice
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. pickling salt

Cook beets until tender; drain and plunge into cold water. Slip off skins and trim if necessary.

Heat vinegar, water, sugar, spices, and salt to boiling. If spice bag is not used, strain out the spices. Add beets to pickling solution and bring to boiling. Pack into clean, sterilized jars, cover with solution, and seal immediately.

That’s the original recipe. I think it wise to add a ten minute spin in a hot water bath (85C) to the recipe. And, it should go without saying to follow all food safety procedures when making any home canning products.

Posted by Posted by jen under Filed under Food, glorious food Comments 2 Comments »

14th Jun 2008

Making Pickles

After our meeting this morning, book club headed off to the farmer’s market to buy the fixings for making pickles…both beet pickles and dilly beans. Leigh was good enough to document our afternoon with her camera.

Beans and peppers

Dilly Beans, up close and personal

I’ve put all the photos in a Flash slideshow (powered by Flash Slideshow Maker) which you can see here: click!

At the end of the day, we ended up with eleven pints of beet pickles and one pint jar plus 5 half-pint jars of dilly beans. Yum!

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03rd Jun 2008


Yesterday, I decided to try making something totally new for me…a ratafia. Initially, I was going to make an entirely vodka-based liqueur but then I found this NY Times article by Pete Wells: Bottling the Bounty of the Season. Google pointed me to this article because I had searched for recipes using loquat seeds. After reading it, I found I rather liked the idea of using wine instead of liquor to make the beverage. And so it was out to the garden to harvest some loquats!

Loquat Tree

This was taken this afternoon so, obviously, I didn’t need the entire crop …

I added a bit more fruit than the Times article called for and also added some of the loquat seeds. This is what ended up going into my fridge:

2 cups chopped loquats
1/4 cup loquat seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vodka
750 ml Pinot Grigio

I also saved a whack of the seeds, just in case I do want to make the vodka-based liqueur after all.

If this turns out, it could make a really interesting way to capture the seasonal flavours. I reckon this will make a great beverage for midsummer; I bet it would be super made into a Pimm’s Cup sort of drink too…

Posted by Posted by jen under Filed under Food, glorious food Comments 2 Comments »