Remove dirt and rough peel around top of beets and stems, wash, and cook whole, first bringing to a boil then cooking on medium heat in salted water to cover for about 25 minutes. Remove beets from water and cool. Peel.
Slice into rounds about 1/4 inch thick into non-reactive kettle (glass, stainless steel or unblemished enamel, but not aluminum). Add ingredients to kettle with the sliced beets, add salt, and a couple of grinds of fresh pepper. Slice the ginger root, using a potato peeler to get thin parings. (I keep my “fresh” ginger root in the freezer, and pull it out when needed. Do not thaw – just use the peeler or a very sharp knife to scrape off thin slices of the frozen root, then return to freezer in a Ziplock bag with the air removed. It will keep for months that way.)
Bring the syrup to a brief boil with the beet slices in it, then simmer about 15 minutes longer until tender. The beet slices should be mostly covered by the pickling solution. If the liquid reduces too much, add a little water, white wine vinegar or more orange juice.
To store in refrigerator -—Put the pickled beets and juice into a covered glass dish or one of those disposable/reuseable storage containers. (They don’t stain like some other plastic storage containers do)
Refrigerate at least three hours before serving. These will keep in the refrigerator at least a week. Beware of midnight refrigerator raids because of the likelihood of beet stains on your pajamas!
"Three kinds of ginger define this zippy cookie, which I’ve been baking and tweaking since the mid-1990s from Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cookbook," cookbook author and culinary instructor Andrea Nguyen says.