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1. Wash beets. Cut off beet tops, leaving 1 inch of stems; trim root ends. Do not peel. In a large saucepan cook beets in enough boiling, lightly salted water to cover about 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Cool beets slightly; trim off roots and stems. Slip off and discard the skins; quarter beets.
2. In a medium stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy saucepan combine vinegar, the 1 cup water, and sugar. For a spice bag, place cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in the center of a double-thick, 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie closed with clean kitchen string. Add spice bag to saucepan. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove and discard spice bag.
3. Pack beets into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Pour hot vinegar mixture over beets, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
4. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 30 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 6 half-pints.