I just harvested my Bulls Blood beets. I left 3 inches of stem and the roots on. I boiled them — probably 25 minutes — the water was red. I soaked them in cold water and peeled them. I did cut off the tops as I was peeling. I noticed that the beets had white inside some of them. After processing for 35 minutes at 13 pounds of pressure. My beets all turned white, and the water is reddish. Are they still ok to eat?
Yes, definitely. Beets are “famous” for bleeding. Some are worse than others. Were these larger beets? Sometimes canning smaller ones, so you don’t have to boil them so long to get tender and peel, works best. Often the beets, after storing a while, will re-absorb the red coloring from the canning water. — Jackie
Preserving yellow pear tomatoes
I’m looking for a canning recipe to use up and preserve my abundance of Yellow Pear Tomatoes. I’m not having much luck looking online, and none of the canning books in my collection have any mention of them at all.
My favorite use for yellow pear tomatoes is in tomato preserves. Mom and Grandma used to put up jars and jars of this each fall, and we’d gobble them up by spring! Here it is:
3 quarts yellow pear tomatoes
8 cups sugar
2 cups lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
1½ cups water
1 Tbsp. mixed pickling spices
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
Wash and peel tomatoes by dipping them in boiling water. Tie pickling spices and lemon in a bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon, water, and ground spices in a large saucepan. Simmer, stirring to prevent scorching. Add tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes become transparent. Stir often to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand overnight. Remove spice bag. Gently heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your processing time to suit your altitude, if necessary.
I’ve also used yellow pear tomatoes to make a pretty salsa, using your favorite salsa recipe. It’s tasty and different! — Jackie
Storing dried herbs
How long do dried herbs keep? I bagged up six gallon sized ziploc bags of lemon balm this week. I use it for lemon balm tea to keep my blood sugar down.
Gold Hill, Oregon
Dried herbs keep a long time, as in years. But they retain peak potential and flavor for about a year. Then you may have to use more to get the same taste/effect. — Jackie