Saturday, July 4, 2009


This is what happens when 4 super cool ladies gather together to celebrate the Fourth of July. We took a different angle from barbecue and fireworks and decided to honor our foremothers and the independence that comes from a healthy local food economy and full pantry. We're not a traditionally patiotic bunch.

Oscar helped.

We started at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market (outside of my 'hood, yes, but worth it for these biking babes). Morgen carted 21 pounds of beets and greens and 12 pounds of green beans back to her house for us.
Heather, Jessie and Morgen

We got back and immediately got to work on prepping ingredients. We snapped the end of the beans, peeled the garlic, sliced the onions and cooked the beets enough to peel them.

Peeling and slicing beets made Heather and Morgen's hands look pretty brutal.

Our set up started out really neat and tidy and deteriorated from that point until all of Morgen's linens were covered in beet juice and I had lost a couple of garlic cloves behind her bookshelf somewhere.

Once we got into a rhythm, though, everything went really smoothly. We'd each have a job and fill the jars assembly-line style: Fill with beets/beans, brine, remove bubbles, wipe rims & seal. It was a regular sweatshop in there with all the steaming pots on the stove and the 9 hour workdays. [Yeah, I shouldn't make light of sweatshops. I know they're much worse that what we experienced. Sweatshop workers don't usually get hummus, crackers, and cold beer delivered to them while working]

At the end of the day we had (I believe) 28 pints of dilly beans and 6 pints and 6 quarts of pickled beets. Wait, maybe more beets. Probably more and I lost count.

There's not much sexier than a classy lady with a full canning pantry, right?

We're left with about a million bags of washed, roughly chopped, frozen beet greens for the next canning project. Spicy Lentil Rasam with Beet Greens, anyone?


Anonymous said...

I love beet greens! (hint from your non-canning, barely cooks single girl friend.) (If you need to get rid of any that is.)

Anonymous said...

What fun! I love the Minneapolis farmers market--I go every weekend :o)

Do you by any chance have a safe recipe for the dilly beans? Those sound fabulous, as they combine two of my absolute favorites--dill and green beans...yum!


Erin said...

Looks like fun! I sure wish I had jars of dilly beans and beets.

The Voracious Vegan said...

This is such a great idea, what a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th. LOVE the pictures, looks like you all had so much fun!

morgen said...

I can't wait to do this again!!

Liz² said...

oh my goodness, can I work in your sweatshop and eat crackers and beer and get gory hands, too? That looked so fun, you're totally the canning master!

Zoey said...

That looks like a wonderful day and I loved the picture of Oscar helping.

Marianella said...

That's a pretty cool silly question: I love lentil rasam but never tried it with beets do you cook/season them and when do you add them to the lentils??? btw, Oscar is a hottie!

Liz said...

Marianella- I just throw in the beet greens or mustard greens at the end and let them wilt in for a couple minutes. If I'm using collards, I'll let them cook longer. I think it's good with just about any green!

Niki said...

That must be the world's cutest cat!
Love your blog. Already copied down your recipes for zucchini salad, pea salad and your green bean meal. YUM!