Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why I will never be invited on a cooking show

This is such a case of "do as I say, not as I do!"

Today I canned pickled beets. " Why?," I have asked myself over and over. Something to do with self-sufficiency or some such twaddle.

The Beet Is On by phxpma.

It has been 96 degrees on my covered porch most of the day.

I have been running hither (great word!) and yon (ooh, another one!) placing sprinklers around the yard(s) trying to keep the lawn from bursting into spontaneous flames.

I got fed up with losing the battle of the dodder and ripped up the entire squash bed and covered it in a heavy sheet of plastic to bake the frickin' weeds to death. Did I mention it was and still is 96 degrees on my covered porch??

And then there were the beets that I bought at the farmer's market sitting on the table mocking me! Really! They sat there in all their knobby smugness and actually dared me to do something with them. Which I have never attempted before.

Photo by Jim Carson.

So, I found this simple sounding recipe for pickled beets and thought I could surely handle it. You cook the beets, cut the tops off and peel, put the spices in the jars, stuff the beets in and cover with a boiling sugar and vinegar. Process for about a year and a half in a boiling water bath and Ta Da!! Magic.

I got as far as step two before I ran into trouble. In spite of the sniggering I heard coming from the cooking pot, I was smart enough to put on rubber gloves before touching the bleeders. Cutting off the tops and bottoms, no problem.

Peel them?? How do you do that, like a banana, from the top down?? Do you need a knife or peeler? Does William Sonoma sell at beet peeling gizmo to do the job? Okay, you squeeze them around in your rubber glove hand, which BTW, is just like trying to type with baseball mitts on each hand, and if you're lucky, the skin kinda rubs off.

The carnage.

The first beet squirted out of my hand, slicker than snot on a doorknob and ricocheted around the sink until I caught it. Unfortunately, I caught it up against my chest and then I looked like I was trying to paint nipples on my shirt so everyone would know I was a girl! (I was once mistaken for a boy while buying tampons at the drug store when I was a teenager, but that is a story for another time!)

{Note: I'm thinking that Rachel Ray probably wouldn't appreciate me shooting flaming hot beets at her, the cameramen or the adoring audience members. Not to mention the string of swear words that escaped my mouth when I wasn't looking?}

But, in the end, I sorta peeled each and every chortling beet, but not without shrieks of "sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!" and bits of slimy skin flipping around the entire kitchen! I know there are some pieces on the drainboard, but it was already covered up with drying pots, so they will have to stay (and stain) awhile longer.

The aftermath.

The recipe said to put the peeled beets into the jar while still hot. Okay, I'm slow, excuuuuuuse meeeee! Mine were still warm, so I forged ahead. Spices in, hateful beets in, and ladle the scorching vinegar neatly into the really hot jar. I am imagining the conversation at the ER as I explain how I lost the battle to can beets, got third degree burns all over my right hand, melted a rubber glove onto the left, but no, that isn't blood seeping through my shirt in the area of The Girls.

Cap the suckers and plunk them into the pot of boiling water.

Wait elevendy-hundred years while the swimming -pool size pot of water returns to a boil. Clean the kitchen, find beety fingerprints on the microwave timer, the stove knobs and the side of my nose (don't ask!) Start timing and go wash the stains out of the shirt.

When the beet smeared timer goes off, retrieve the jars from the pink tinged churning water.

Run outside AGAIN to move the watering. Come back inside and notice that the house smells like Babushka has been making kraut. Light a candle. Heck, light three or four!

So, what's with that "do as I say, not as I do?" cr*p?? The above is what I do. This is what I say:

If you want pickled beets, go to the grocery store and buy a #$&^%&* jar of pickled beets!

And this, my friends is why I will never be invited on a television cooking show!


Anonymous said...

MIL here----Lisa dear you are a NUT!!!!!I am laughing so hard I can barely write. Why would you buy ANY more vegetables when you have 40 tons in your yard. Talk about green thumbs (as well as beet red boobs) I am certain that "Studly", my dear son won't join you in consuming them._______maybe the dogs will????I love pickled beets but am too far away to consume them with you. Think, my dear you should just stick to the watering when it is this hot, and maybe take a run or two through the sprinklers!!!Love ya silly DIL. Mom

Penny said...

Hey Lisa, I have to agree with your MIL, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto what she said. And especially ditto to the "NUT" part!! You are hilarious!

Celticspirit said...

hahaha....too funny! Have you tried growing the beets yourself yet? I'll be taking notes as I'm still planning my future garden here. ;) By the way, the spaghetti squash was yummy. I cooked one the other day and Russell said he was not crazy about it but he did eat it. That's ok today I cooked another and ate about half of it for lunch and saved the rest for tomorrow.

Lisa said...

Barb ~ Yeah, I seeded part of one bed with beets, but being the wonder gardener that I am, I forgot to write it down in my notebook. Flash forward and I have forgotten about the beets, so I turn the entire bed over and plant something else. So, I have a beet here, and a beet there. Sigh

MarmiteToasty said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA my sides are aching this morning reading this......

I LOVE Beetroots and especially pickled beetroots with a passion, remember me blob post on my beets LOL

hahahahahaha still giggling at your post :)

And WHY do you doodles say 'canning' when in actually fact you dont pack them into tins? I just dont get it... why dont you speak proper LMFAO

We say bottling cos we use JARS...... NOT canning when we use jars.... dont make me have to come over there and sort you and your language out lol


Eternal Sunshine said...

This is a great one!! I loved the whole thing, and sadly enough, it has not discouraged me from wanting to pickled/can my own beets!! I know, I'm crazy, but I didn't say I was GONNA do it, I just said I still WANTED to.

Debbie said...

Funny, funny stuff. I would never can beets, pickle beets, or eat beets, but I am happy for you! I'm also a Tennessee gal. Pleased to meet you.

Lisa said...

Eternal Sunshine and Debbie! Welcome and thanks for the beet love! I must say it was an experience, but the beets turned out really yummy anyway!!

texasholly said...

OMG. Seriously. I have never ever wanted beets that bad. I am worried about stains on your white sink...? I am glad it all turned out well. so funny.

Thanks for linking today!