pickled beets, apple pie filling and pears in a light syrup.
it took me awhile to settle on a recipe for the pickled beets. the majority of the ones i came across featured cinnamon, nutmeg or uncomfortable amounts of sugar.
here is the one that i chose, found here:
3 lbs peeled, cooked beets cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons dill seed
2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 onion, sliced thinly (about 3/4 cup)
Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Prep your jars. Pack the beets into the warm jars and ladle the pickling solution over them. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a water bath for 30 minutes.
the pie filling recipe i pulled from here.
on the other side of this experience (pie filling), i will say that i think it is more work than is worthwhile. christmas gifts for picky family members was my specific purpose and in that i was successful, but i wouldn't do this in the future. canned apples in syrup are far simpler and can be put to the same purposes.
the pears were simple and looked like such beauties in my blue bowl.