If you read my blog, you know that my friend Grace's mother is in the final stages of her fight against cancer.
I went out last weekend to visit them, and Grace sent me home with a bunch of the beets her mother planted this spring, before the cancer began growing aggressively again.
I came home, and pickled them using Grace's mother's recipe. She's the one who taught me to pickle beets, and it's the only recipe I will ever use.
Here it is, as Grace sent it to me four years ago. Again, this recipe doesn't call for processing the jars. I always process the beets in jars, and put them on the shelf to eat all winter long.
Cook beets and peel off skins (Mom said she just boils them until they stick with a fork well). It's important to cook them long enough but not too long b/c if you cook them too short, the skins are a BEAR!! She said you should be able to find how to cook beets in the Joy of Cooking if you have one.
The syrup recipe is:
2C Vinegar (apple cider)
1 sliced lemon (the whole thing goes in the pot)
1 tsp cinnamon
Cook this mixture until the sugar has completely disolved.
While this is cooking, cut up your beets how ever you want them, sliced or quartered.
Put the beets in a pan and pour the syrup over them and let them simmer for 15 minutes.
Pack your jars with beets and pour the syrup in the jar with them. Put the lids on the jars and seal. No canner required.