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Cooking: Pressure Cooking beets?

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anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 21, 2008
6:30 PM

Post #5447849

I just purchased a new Fagor P.Cooker. A friend brought me a ton of fresh red beets. I planned on cooking a batch in new pressure cooker however the instructions read peeling is required. Would the peel clog the vent? I am disappointed and have my non peeled beets simmering away in a pot on the stove. Maybe a whole chix for dinner using my new toy.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 17, 2008
6:04 AM

Post #5562112

anastatia, the peel will not clog the vent. I have two Fagor pressure cookers. I scrub the beets, trim the tops and root, then either pressure cook whole for small beets or chop into halves or quarters for large beets. After they are cooked, you can easily slip the skins off of them. I've cooked unpeeled beets in the Fagor for at least 20 years now and never had a wayward peel.
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2008
3:37 PM

Post #5563493

garden_mermaid, many thanks. My friend is dropping off another bag of beets for me today and I will "fagor" them tonight!!
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 17, 2008
6:41 PM

Post #5564141

anastatia, I'm assuming that you are somewhere nearby while the pressuer cookers are in use, so that in the unlikely event that something did get loose, you would notice the change in the sound that the cooker makes or the lack of steam coming out of the valve (also a sign that you may have run out of liquid in your recipe.
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2008
7:01 PM

Post #5564220

Oh yes. I monitor closely.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 1, 2008
3:49 AM

Post #5620186

My favorite way to cook beets -- and in a hurry I do pressure them -- is not to peel them, but to slick them all over ( leaving an inch of leaf stalks on top). with an oil that will take high temperatures such as lard or peanut oil, heat the oven as high as it will go, put them in a pan not too much bigger than the beets and roast until a fork plunged into the beet goes in easily.
Take them out and peel them when they cool. To me roasting beets brings out the flavor more than boiling or pressure cooking them.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 1, 2008
3:53 AM

Post #5620201

Roasted beets are delicious. I usually roast them in cool weather, pressure cook in hot weather.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 9, 2008
1:47 AM

Post #5649261

Beets! What I wouldnt give for some BEETS! They dont exist around here. Occasionally Walmart has a few limp saggy soggy things that they call Beets and the cost of them is thru the roof ! I like to parboil them, slip the skins off, cut them into wedges, add a dash of red wine or balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, dot with butter and roast them in the oven. "Country Beets" is the nickname in our family - meanng they didnt come out of a can or jar. I miss MY beets !!! Filled with envy Anastatia ! Whichever way you cook them...enjoy !!! - sniff sniff...whine
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
2:13 AM

Post #5649369

Don't you have farmers' markets and health food stores in Kansas? I get mine at the Farmers' market for $2 per bunch and that bunch feeds both my husband and me a meal. Not so expensive for real beets. If you don't have a farmers' market, I recommend planting some next year. They aren't difficult to grow. Hmm. Fresh beets are out of this world!
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 9, 2008
2:49 AM

Post #5649484

The nearest farmers market is an hour away from here and we never seem to get there on the days that its on. Unfortunately. We have a small grocery store 10 miles from our town...they don't carry beets and the nearest Walmart 30 mins. north only has a few limp, soggy excuses for beets occasionally. Guess they just arent in demand here ?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
4:22 AM

Post #5649752

I think beets are kind of out of fashion, if vegetables can be said to be in or out of style. But they are very fashionable in fancy restaurants. Could you possibly grow some?
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2008
4:45 AM

Post #5649799

Beets are very fashionable out here. I usually see at least three varieties at every farmers market. They are very easy to grow. If you grown them yourself you'll get fresh beet greens to eat as another vegetable. I love the beet greens!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
1:54 PM

Post #5650590

Unfortunately, AprilHillSide lives 1 hour away from a farmers' market. Too bad. But garden_mermaid is right, they are easy to grow.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 9, 2008
3:24 PM

Post #5651085

Yes, I plan to grow LOTS of beets next year but didnt have a veggie garden this year...just the small border in front and side of the porch. I tried growing tomatoes in those hanging bag planters - they came out just ok...tons of foliage that hung from overhead onto the ground. Planted more tomatoes and anaheim peppers on the west side where there is a lot of sun and a few flowers, pepper plant, and lavendar (that isnt flowering) at the front - south facing flower bed. Unfortunately one of the dogs jumped off the front porch, broke off the pepper plant months ago but it has rallied back and has 1 small pepper and some flowers on it. A little late now for a crop but the 1 pepper will make it thru. Next year, a veggie garden for sure. Lots of beets will be planted in it and herbs - in the stores here they are old and expensive and the ones I put into flower boxes this year didnt exactly flourish but they are on the porch and dont get enough sunlight. I will just have to be beet deprived til next year I guess.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
3:54 PM

Post #5651199

Sounds like. Maybe you should grow a bunch of them and start going to the farmers' market yourself! Sounds like your area is beet deprived. You know, it maybe that no one wants to buy the ones in the grocery store because they are old and tired looking. Maybe all you need to do is put up a sign next summer saying beets for sale. Maybe you will find some customers. You know, lots of people like beets, it is just that good ones are hard to get.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 9, 2008
4:16 PM

Post #5651276

Yes, good advice Pajar. Actually my hope is to start a Farmers Market right here in our tiny town for the locals. It wont generate a lot of money or anything but it will at least the elderly to buy locally...without having to drive so far to buy produce AND I would sell individual veggies...so that they can get a variety of veggies without having to spend a lot of have it go to waste. I know the old folks dont use a lot of any one thing and they tend to deprive themselves because they dont want to spend the money on an entire bag of carrots...or bundle of celery etc and then they dont use it up and it goes to waste. I think the nearest grocery store should sell individual or pkgs of two..pork chops, 1/2 lb pkgs of ground beef, etc. for the elderly as well.

I also plan to sell my baked goods & preserves that generate money towards the local strays here. Unfortunately I thought we would be moving and didnt get a garden put in. It requires making raised beds because the ground is too hard here & fair amount of work, plus expense so I didnt do it.

Unless another, better house comes along between now and the spring...I plan to add raised beds, grow what I can and start the Farmers Market here. I look forward to it.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2008
5:27 PM

Post #5651502

April, have you considered using EarthBoxes or other self contained box gardens to grow part of your vegetables? If you move, you can take the EBs with you.
If you have poor or hard to work soil in your yard, an EB is a great way to ensure a harvest while you get your in ground garden into shape.

DG has recently added a separate forum on this topic:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/boxgardens/all/
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
7:11 PM

Post #5651857

EB's are a good way to go and so are raised beds. I think your idea is wonderful because even a small garden produces more than most people can eat. Raised beds don't have to be expensive and if you built them right the enclosures could be disassembled and moved with you. If you built a raised bed now, you could fill it with wet cardboard and any organic matter you can find and it will help prepare the soil at the bottom of your structure for gardening next year. A sack of alfalfa pellets would help as well, manure, leaves, lawn clippings, whatever organic matter you can come up with -- not wood chips, though. Fill up the raised bed with organic matter then you will find the soil underneath the structure easier to work with in the spring. Simply turn in whatever is left of your organic matter and hopefully add some soil on top and you will be well on your way to a beautiful garden.
I am sure you will find lots of enthusiasm among the people in your little town for buying produce and I bet you will find others wanting to grow veggies and participate as well. I bet a lot of farmers in your area wouldn't mind growing and selling some veggies. With everything so far away, it would have to be a big hit. You will soon be feeding your town!
I can't think of a nicer thing to do.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #5651867

BTW, anastatia,
I have two pressure cookers and don't know what I would do without them. I live at 7,300 ft. and beans and brown rice take hours and hours to get done. But put them in the pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes and they are done. And I also use them for soups and stews that don't need to be pressured.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
12:27 AM

Post #5652957

Thanks gals for the raised bed info & suggestions. I am a composter, much to my hubbys chagrin ! I save all my coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie peelings, etc. and all the apple peelings, cores etc. from my recent Apple Extravaganza - making fundraising preserves for the strays that are generously housed & cared for until adoptive homes can be found. One of the vets donated the apples from her tree and an elderly lady at the edge of town donated all her apples as well. We picked them all about a month ago and have been "appling" my way thru "Kansas Red Applesauce" and "Mom's Apple Pie Jam" so named because both doners of the apples are "Mom's and I am a Mom also.

I made both ladies a case each of Kansas Red and Mom's Apple Pie Jam and the supply to date is for sale at the Vet clinic in a beautiful buckboard wagon that I bought at the local Mercantile store. It is hand made by a local man and constructed of local barnboard as well. I just love it.

Anyway, so far, I just have a Rubbermaid bin with the bottom cut out of it, holes drilled in the sides and I did add vermiculture worms in the late spring as well. The overabundance of apple peelings, etc have been tossed in an unused shady bed at the east side of the house which is out of the way and protected by the towering Lutheran Church next door.

I plan to get a roll of chicken wire and make circular composters in the backyard to continue to add the apple scraps, fall leaves, ongoing household waste etc.

Looks like I have a lot of research to do on those raised beds and plans to make over the winter. But, for right now, I will just focus on using the bsmt full of apples left yet for processing into preserves for the strays.

Here are some pics of the goodies.

Thumbnail by AprilHillside
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
12:28 AM

Post #5652959

Mom's Apple Pie Jam

Thumbnail by AprilHillside
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
12:30 AM

Post #5652967

Buckboard wagon filled with wooden wicker picnic basket stacked with Jams, Applesauce and homemade dog biscuits for sale towards the care of the strays.

Thumbnail by AprilHillside
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
12:31 AM

Post #5652972

Menu of homemade preserves for sale to raise funds for the strays.

Thumbnail by AprilHillside
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #5652981

Wooden picnic basket in the back of the buckboard wagon laden with jams & preserves.

Sorry didnt mean to gobble up your pressure cooker beet forum. I will end this here.

Thumbnail by AprilHillside
Click the image for an enlarged view.

anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
12:52 PM

Post #5654557

Just one of the wonderful things about DG! Ask a simple question and the conversation explodes w/ info. Great~
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5654882

I have so enjoyed where the pressure cooked beets conversation went. Your jam, jelly and applesauce business is a wonderful way of making use of the tons of apples that generally go to waste and what a great cause! All those apple cores should make terrific compost. Your garden will be wonderful next year and improve each additional year if you keep up your efforts.
I expect your new farmer's market will take off as well. This is how good communities are built. You seem to be enjoying all of this as well. Good on ya!
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
3:43 PM

Post #5655221

Thank you ladies for your support and compliments. This project has certainly mushroomed from what started out as a simple effort of making homemade dog biscuits for sale at the clinic. Then came Apricot Jam out of the apricots from the giant tree we have in our backyard here. I thought "I will make some jam to help raise funds to keep the strays alive at the vets until homes can be found" and it grew and grew and grew. Altogether I made 99 jars of "Buddy's Apricot Jam" named after the golden lab/mix male that has been at the clinic since May with no takers. He is a dear sweetheart of a dog but has yet to find a home...

Next came "Jocks Jalapeno Pepper Jelly" , then Miss Lily's Chili Sauce, Mom's Apple Pie Jam and "Kansas Red" applesauce. Altogether over 300 jars of preserves made and its ongoing. I have done up a picture video movie of the whole process. If you are interested in viewing it - give me your email addy and I will forward it to you.

Who knows? Maybe if I can get that raised bed garden together for next year I can grow an abundance of beets and name them after another one of the strays? The possibilities are endless...

Thanks so much.

All the best

Georgina
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2008
3:46 PM

Post #5655238

Apricot jam has to be one of the finest foods on earth. You are lucky to have a huge apricot tree. I have one, but it doesn't produce that much just yet.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
4:02 PM

Post #5655286

The tree in our backyard has to be 30 ft tall. For some reason it produced a massive amount of fruit this year and we had several elderly people in town knock on our door and ask if they could help themselves to some fruit. I think Apricots are an old fashioned fruit that the eldery remember and are fond of...especially here on the prairies where fruit trees are not the norm.

Of course, we encouraged them to help themselves and after ladling off the foam from my jam - which tured into clear apricot syrup I took several quarts to those older folks and they were thrilled to have it for pouring over cake, ice cream and even into iced tea.

The rest I used to restart new batches of jam - as the liquid starter.

Georgina
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2008
4:55 PM

Post #5655447

Apricots aren't well suited to shipping which is why only the old people remember how good they are. We get them in the store but they are often tasteless. Here in northern New Mexico, though, they grow very well and lots of people have them and we get fruit most years.
My father, remembers it most fondly from his mother making it each year. Also, in Europe, it is readily available all year round. We could learn a lot from those old-timers and Europeans in this country.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 10, 2008
5:41 PM

Post #5655627

I agree. And don't forget that almost exclusively...everyone who is already here was from Europe at one time. Or of Aboriginal descent

Believe me when I say that I often think of these elders who are the descendants of the original Pioneers in this region when I am in the Mercantile or at an auction of an estate. The contents in those auctions are so meeger sometimes...they tell a story of how simply people have lived here. Not a lot of niceties...simple, inexpensive, well used basic household contents. Extravagant dishes & other niceties were rare...received as gifts later in life.

The Mercantile is filled with old dishes, luxuries of the day as well as some local artisans photos, craft items, labours of love. I feel a reverence for those who have passed and these precious items that are left behind. Not wanted by the youth of today...the offspring of those elders...they are for sale inexpensively for the purchase of any who they speak to...for whatever reason. I am glad that they are not discarded and continue life in new surroundings.

At the auctions, often there are old linens and the local younger women - middle aged - and even some of the elders - bid on those with great fervor. Mind you, they sell for next to nothing usually but at least they are going into new hands that appreciate them.

Collectors/dealers at the auctions are easy to pick out shortly after the auction begins. They try to act non-descript and casual but their bidding styles speak for themselves. When they want it - they keep at it because these items are in demand in the antique world, as Ebay items, etc. I shouldnt take it personally when they zero in on the items but somehow I do...I resent their intrusion. The predator vision I guess ? There is no sentimental or personal attraction to the items...its simply a money making enterprise. But, that's the way of the world eh?

It's hard to imagine those who arrived here first from across the big water. Crossing the harsh prairie with just the basics to restart their new lifes. Bareing children along the way, having to make do with so little and sometimes having to turn back because of the impossibility of it all. Those who made it have their descendents now to follow as best they can in their footsteps. Hard working farm folk here that are doing their best to adapt to the always changing, demanding requirements to keep the land and make it produce successfully.

Just imagine what a treat apricots would have been to those people? It's incredible...

pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
1:21 AM

Post #5657031

Oh, yes, I do get the picture of what their lives were like. My own great grandparents and even one set of grandparents lived that life. And my relatives not only made apricot jam, but also picked raspberries, currants and huckleberries for jams and jellies as well. I admire them hugely. I have seen some wonderful pictures of one of my grandmothers sitting on a horse and posing with a pistol like Annie Oakley. They had a hard life in Wyoming, but in some of the most beautiful land on the planet. That grandmother died before I was born, but my grandfather used to cook a farmer's breakfast for me on his wood/coal stove until I was about 12. Then the lady who cleaned his house told him she wouldn't do it anymore if he didn't get a modern stove, so he got an electric one. But he still made huge delicious breakfasts. His friends and my other relatives in the area were very similar, wonderful people.
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 11, 2008
1:57 AM

Post #5657191

Wow! You have a very rich history and great memories to cherish. In many ways, it would have been special to have lived back then. BTW did you get the video?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5657194

No, I didn't. I wonder if it wasn't too large for email. Have you emailed it before?
AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 11, 2008
2:00 AM

Post #5657205

Yes, I emailed it to lots of friends last night. Let me try sending it again. Please let me know whether or not you receive it ?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
2:02 AM

Post #5657214

Oh, and yes, I do have a really great history and lovely memories of my pioneering relatives and their friends. I used to love to go visit them. And I loved the quart of huckleberry and raspberry jam and homemade fruit cake that arrived from them each year. They also used to ship us an elk each year during elk season which I enjoyed, but that is another story.

This message was edited Oct 10, 2008 8:03 PM
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
2:04 AM

Post #5657217

Yes, I will let you know.
Melissande
Chillicothe, OH

October 11, 2008
2:18 AM

Post #5657266

HOLY COW! just read the beginning of this thread, and hope to heaven you're not *throwing out* those wonderful beet greens?!?!?

You can treat beet greens exactly the same as swiss chard, to which it's closely related. Our family's favorite recipe for either beet greens, swiss chard or any greens including spring greens (you know, that stuff most people call grass and walk on the rest of the year?) is a French recipe we call 'green meatballs' because we can't pronounce the real name! You simply wash and chop the greens, combine them with ground meat, (if using anything as lean as super-lean hamburger or venison, add some fatty meat like lamb, goat or pork) salt, pepper and plenty of garlic--we ARE French, after all!--and brown in a skillet with some oil. after that, you can eat them like that (HEAVEN!!!), combine with spaghetti, (delish)or any other thing you can think of. You can use it as a stuffing, anyplace you might use ground meat and rice--this is a perfect choice if you're doing a low carb diet.

the proper name sounds like galettas--a cookie from the same area--but doesn't start with a 'g'. A 'c' instead, I believe. Anyway, 'green meatballs' is good enough for me!

Melis
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
3:47 AM

Post #5657509

AprilHillSide,
I did receive your video and I loved it and my husband loved it and I loved the sweet dogs in it and your beautiful preserves. How lucky these dogs are to have you helping to pay for their keep and how sweet they look. Not to mention the fact that the people in your town are obviously really enjoying your preserves and chili and all. Sorry it took me so long to figure out that I had actually already received your video.

Melissande,
Beautiful name, I have to say. I love the idea of the green meatballs. I have had trouble getting my husband to eat chard, which I grow, and beet greens which come on my farmers' market beets. I bet if I mixed it up with meat he would eat it. I love beet greens and chard. My husband is pickier. But when I made chard moussaka he loved it. Now I will have to try beet green meat balls. Just happen to have a whole refrigerator full of beets and greens right now.



AprilHillside
Waterville, KS

October 11, 2008
5:36 AM

Post #5657765

Glad you received the video Pajar ! The dogs are priceless. Especially Buddy...who began the preserve adventure. If I could have adopted him myself...the jamming/canning would never have begun. I dont know whether to kiss him or give him a look ! hahaha
Melissande
Chillicothe, OH

October 11, 2008
7:12 AM

Post #5657833

pajaritompt(shew! did I spell that right?) If he went for the moussakka, maybe he'd go for 'spaghetti squash spaghetti' and that 'zucchini in place of noodles' lasagna. We did the low carb thing pretty intensely a few years ago and I collected some incredibly good low /no carb recipes, including one for a pizza that's completely indistinguishible from a bread one, only you can only eat about two pieces of it (thanks to the body's magic 'can't overeat protein' reflex: too much and it comes back up) and an ice cream that brings tears to the eyes it's so good.

Oh, yeah, and home made roquefort dressing. Man, I love low carb dieting!!!

Melis
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
4:01 PM

Post #5658685

Spaghetti squash spaghetti sounds really good. So does "zucchini in place of noodles" lasagna. Where did you find those recipes?
Melissande
Chillicothe, OH

October 11, 2008
6:07 PM

Post #5658982

um, well, personally, I just added the parboiled (or nuked) zucchini to my already-existing lasagne recipe, and same for the spaghetti squash recipe. But i'd be pleased to type out for you my recipes for those if you'd like. It's not hard at all, though. Whatever you usually do for those two recipes just add a baked spaghetti squash, baked, split open, seeds carefully removed and then stringy spaghetti-like pith spooned out (use a big spoon, that way you'll get more continuous fibres and it'll be most like real spaghetti) and then use that like your normal spaghetti. As for thezucchini, you *can* just peel and slice the little ones long-wise and insert them in the lasagne raw, but with this caveat: the zucchini will generate a lot of juice as it cooks, and if your lasagne recipe has cheese in it (don't gawk, some peoples don't use cheese!) the cheese will overcook and toughen while you're trying to cook off the released juices, so it's better to cook the zuchini ahead of time. Doesn't matter how you do it: saute, microwave, parboil, just so long as you get it hot enough to rupture the internal connective tissues in the veggie so it releases some of its juices. You'll know when, when it goes limp and a little translucent. I'll post my recipes for spagh and lasagne separately under a new heading, okay?
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
9:28 PM

Post #5659517

Great and thanks!

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