1Remove 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.
2Slice 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.)
1Bring 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.
1To 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!
On this week's episode of Does It Hack? Adam Campbell-Schmitt tackles peeling ginger.
Ginger Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)
Cantonese comfort food, chicken jook (also known as congee) is a creamy, warm, savory rice porridge fragrant with ginger and chicken broth, that lends itself to endless customization. Add scallions, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, soy sauce, fish sauce, cilantro, pickled mustard greens, or whatever other toppings strike your fancy.