he Beet me to it

A strange thing happened at our house last month.
In one of those Freaky Friday moments, it was like I was him and he was me.

Cause somewhere in the midst of my KID shorts drafting, drawing, and escaping at night to work on the pattern….Casey took up pickling.

Ya see, we were having dinner at a friend’s house and our friend asked if we liked beets.
“I think they taste like dirt,” he told us (always a great selling point). And then he offered us all the beets we wanted from his garden….along with some lovely heirloom tomatoes I should add.  Guess he couldn’t wait to unload those things.  In fact, I came back the next week to get a photo of the beet plants and they were already pulled out! (with new zucchini in their place)

Well, Casey happens to love beets.
And he got super excited about this idea of having homemade pickled beets.
“Awesome. Great! We’d love some beets.  I’m sure Dana can figure out a pickling recipe. She’s good at that stuff….or maybe I’ll even try doing it myself”

And while I totally appreciated the DIY compliment,
I was trying to put out a sewing pattern using precious small moments of free time in the chaos of constant kid-life….and now I had to stall everything for 2 days to figure out how to can and pickle what was just sold to me as “dirt”?

That’s how it sounded in my head.

What came out of my mouth was, “thanks for the beets!”
…and then they sat in a bag on our back porch for 3 days,
till Casey decided to do something about it.

At 10pm on a Saturday night I settled in on the couch to check instagram while he casually mentioned he was going to the store to pick up some canning jars.  Really?  Wow.   You’re going to start a canning project this late at night?  Of course, duh, that’s often when I start unrealistic projects.  So I tried not to squash the energy and loved that he was really going to try this on his own.

And he totally did!  It was really fun to watch.  He spent the first night prepping everything.  And in the morning, he pickled away.
He’s a pickler.

He followed a recipe similar to THIS (and halved the recipe amounts)

He learned tricks for removing the skins, figured out how to sterilize jars, realized what whole cloves were,

and took pride in his new discoveries.

There’s a DIYer in us all, right?
Of course Casey’s always been good at creative projects.  He installed all that backsplash you see behind him.  I appreciate a handy guy.  And now a pickling guy.

There you have it folks.
Pickled Beets!

And then he told Lucy all about it.
She was thrilled.

The real test came 2 weeks later when he broke open the first jar and gave it a taste.
He cut the first beet into pieces for all of us to try (and shocker of shocks, the kids actually tried some!  They didn’t like it, but they tried).

And what did Casey think?

I’m gonna leave him to his 10pm devices more often.

  1. HOw fun! My husband is quite similar- realizing I’m not going to get around to something, and then starting it himself- even the 10 pm part! HE once styed up ALL night long to make the perfect bbq sauce & smoke a brisket- I’m nowhere near that comitted to good food. 🙂

  2. 2) Lisa Adcock

    Maybe I will show this post to my hubby and he can take up canning. He loves to brew beer though, and now he makes me cider and just started his hand at making mead.

  3. 3) Callie

    love the pic of Casey in the process. Too funny!

  4. I just love your blog 🙂 This sounds EXACTLY, like my husband. He just LOVES to do the canning in the summer & fall.

  5. I love this post! I’m a canner as well, but I learned a long time ago to figure out how to do it in the midst of kid chaos because starting at 10pm didn’t work for me anymore. lol Congrats on your first canning experiment and success Casey!

  6. go Casey! Although, I also think beets taste like dirt. 🙂

  7. Very nice! I wish my kitchen was clean enough for impromptu photos of my husband cooking – I’m going to have to work on that! 🙂

  8. I totally just laughed out loud and startled Allie. I love beets too! Unpickled, though. Mike is also the canning aficionado in our family 🙂 Great post, I loved it!

  9. 10) Bethany

    I’m not the biggest fan of beets, but they sure do look pretty in those jars!

  10. 11) Anna

    Next time you are blessed with an abundance of beets, just roast and puree them and then make baked goods. Beet pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream are the best! I call them red, white, and blueberry pancakes and serve them on the 4th of July 🙂

  11. I love beets but my husband literally gags at the thought. I was preparing a roast chicken with veggies once and he walked by as I was getting to the beets. Full scale panic ensued because the beets might touch the other food. Had to roast them separately. Casey rocks … those jars of canned beets are a thing of beauty!

  12. 13) JenniferF

    Very impressive!! I *love* that he started at 10pm on a Saturday night 🙂

  13. 14) bdaiss

    Ooo! We love beets! I canned GALLONS last year. Not kidding. Like 5 gallons. We’re almost out – good thing the next batch is almost ready in the garden! Next up, try pickled beans. I can email you our family recipe if you like! They’re so tasty: dilly and a bit spicy and crunchy and SO much easier to get right than regular pickles. Or pickled carrots! (See? Pickle family over here – kids and all!)

  14. Hahaha!! Go, Casey!! Love his modeling too!! That is so awesome!!
    I hated beets until two years ago, when I was pregnant with my fourth. Now I absolutely freakin’ love them!!

  15. Too cute. I agree with your friend that gave you the beets, they taste like dirt to me, too! But not when they are pickled. I have a garden row of beets just for my hubby, but perhaps I should follow Casey’s lead and pickle them! They look scrumptious!

  16. 17) Connie

    Grandma Willard would be proud! Go Casey!

  17. 18) Carolyn Thornley

    Fun story and you tell stories so well!

  18. 19) elaine horacek

    I have made pickled beets for years and have never peeled them scold the and the skins slide right off also put some fresh dill in the jars just before sealing them. they are very good

  19. Woohoo for Casey! So cool to see your hubby take center stage in your post as a handy dandy pickler! LOL! Your whole family looks so perfectly natural in front of the camera. I always enjoy your stories about the family and all the great photos you have to document the story. Oh, and I love beets. When my mom would make red beet eggs, I always chose to eat the beets and not the eggs. Yum!

  20. I absolutely love beets. I just can’t get them to taste the way they did when my mother made them 🙂
    Husband hates them… Maybe I should try pickling some as well.

  21. 22) kathleen babbitt

    I love beets in fact my whole family loves beets. his made my mouth water! I’m so impressed with his learning curve. it isn’t easy to can but not impossible. i canned everything with my mom when I was a teenager. i have a harvard beet recipe if he would like to try that. but I guess since the plants are gone so are the beets. boo hoo

  22. 23) JAS

    How is there not one single drop of red juice on that towel??? Beets are ok but salsa is my hubs canning art!

  23. 24) emily

    we love pickled beets… I don’t eat them any other way… way to go Casey :o)

  24. I love beets. Just NOT pickled. We got a few cans from someone as a gift and they cleared the sinuses. Maybe a little less potent would be good 🙂

  25. This is the cutest post!
    I just had a “pickled watermelon crouton” on a fancy-pants summer salad and it was delish. I’m going to have to try pickling watermelon now.

  26. 27) Nicole B.

    I’m very impressed!

  27. AWESOME JOB! That was very inspiring and very cute! Where there’s a will there’s a way! (did anyone else sing that song in grade school?)

  28. How awesome!! What a great man you have! My husband is of the persuasion that beets taste like dirt, too haha but I hope you saved a couple, they are phenomenol grilled with just olive oil and salt and pepper:) even my husband said they were sweet and delicious grilled!

    • 30) NiCaam

      Grilling them huh? Will have to give that a try, I’m in the “dirt” corner, I only buy them for the color, LOVE that red.

  29. 31) Melissa

    I love the pic of him “telling Lucy all about it” – classic Casey pose/face 🙂

  30. 32) Sue Baker

    You do realize that the skin slips right off of the beets after they are cooked?

    • 33) Dana

      yep! That’s what he discovered and was so happy 🙂

  31. 34) Ashley

    Way to go Casey! Can I have those gardens/veggies minus the work? Also, pickled beets are a staple in Australia! If you get a burger with everything on it, it will have pickled beets. I took the plunge and loved it! We actually made our burgers with pickled beets on them for the first year we were back…yum! They are also a great source of iron!

  32. 35) Jessie

    I love when people we think we know quite well surprise us in the best ways! Last weekend after a frustrating thrift store encounter my usually-much-less-reasonable-than-I boyfriend helped me calm down and told me not to try and reason with unrealistic people before switching the subject and splurging on an ice cream treat (also not typical). The switch in roles really took me back for a moment and then made me smile and realize why I love him more and more all the time.

  33. What an awesome post. One of the reasons I love beetroot is that it tastes like dirt! And maybe there is something in the air at the moment because my husband suddenly decided to make dill pickles a couple of weekends ago. They are great! I would love to try this with beets. Thanks for the inspiration, Casey 🙂

  34. Very cool! Pickles are next! I wish my hubs would do that. He’s all good with the up-front garden work as long as it involves a tractor (even for a 10×10 garden), overstuffing nursery plants in the ground and setting up drip lines on a timer – all completed in one afternoon. After that? The continual weeding, picking, and CANNING all fall on me for weeks on end! I’m to the point now where I don’t want to see another zucchini, yellow squash, or tomato! UGH. I’m out of space for all the jars! And hubs is like, “I went to all this work to plant you a garden and now you don’t want to harvest it!” …seriously? It’s the same technique when you shop for a cookout, marinate the meat, prep the sides, carry it all outside, set the outdoor table, clean it all up, and store all the leftovers. While he stood at the grill for 15 mins and wants all the glory for the event because he cooked the meat.

    Oh sorry, this post was about Casey. 🙂 Great job! You make my grandmother proud!

  35. The beets look great! My mother in law does unpickled ones for us. Beets are about the hardest and messiest veggies to bottle, so great job! 🙂

  36. Dana, my favorite part of this post is your photography. WOW — especially the shot looking down on Casey working over the stove! Are you standing on the center island, woman? The colors, the composition, just lovely across the board. Plus the fact that you have the world’s (second 🙂 best hubs. Bravo and yay. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Best – Lisa

  37. Hahaha I love this story! Way to go, Casey!

  38. I love ‘beets’ – we call them beetroots in Australia. I love them and I love your kitchen too.

  39. those look so good! I’m impressed! I’ve totally been interested in canning, but have been too intimated to try

  40. Love this post! 10 years ago my husband decided he was going to start baking pies. He made the best peach pie I ever had! Now he makes all the Thanksgiving pies 🙂

  41. 44) Juanita in OH

    Casey ROCKS!! They look delicious, I LOVE pickled beets even as a child. I think that is wonderful for you. TFS

  42. 45) Emily

    Haha! That’s great! Good for him.
    I especially love this post because my husband has suddenly been making pickles, and he even tried making sauerkraut! Last night he got started on another batch of pickles at about 8:30pm. He was very excited to show them to the kids this morning.

  43. 46) Andrea

    My husband does most of the canning too!! Dilly beans, jams, peaches, salsa, everything! He always seems to start while I am in the middle of a sewing project (usually about 9pm haha), and then “complains” with a smile that he sure wishes someone would help him! Hint, hint. Food always tastes more delicious when someone else makes it 😉

  44. 47) NiCaam

    VERY sweet post. My husband is not so craftsy, but he’s a total sweetheart nonetheless. I’ve always *thought* about canning, or pickling…that’s a future tinker list item. At least you can now turn to the Professional for advice when you take a turn at it.

  45. This post cracked me up, but you never said if you liked his pickled beets.

    When my oldest was about 2 his great-grandma sent her pickled beets home with us. He ate an entire jar on his own! He’s 5 now and claims he no longer likes them though.

    I once tried roasted beets, I think I just drizzled it with olive oil then salt & peppered it. I can’t say it’s my favorite, but it wasn’t too bad that way.

    • 50) Dana

      I thought they were good. But I don’t really like them alone. Now in a goat cheese salad with sugar crusted pecans? yes!

  46. 51) kate

    Very impressive! Love a person who is always willing to learn something new. And beets are delicious. We stir fry the leaves in a little garlic and butter – like chard or spinach, better with bacon. The really impressive part is that Casey had the forethought to wear a red shirt. Smart man!

    • 52) Dana

      I wondered if anyone would notice that.
      Well, the real reality is that he owns like 5 red shirts because he loves the color. So it was a helpful coincidence :).

  47. 53) Katie P

    He should try grilling the beets next time! Just slice them up about 1/2 an inch thick, coat them in olive oil and then grill them….the sweetness comes out and it is delicious. I love beets, but pickled beets are far from my favorite way to enjoy them 🙂 But good for him for taking on the pickling himself!

  48. 54) Aliya

    Oh, I love pickled beets! They make me nostalgic for my Grandma Lucy’s Homemade pickled beets with whole boiled eggs.

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