Grandmother Lida Quinn’s Pickled Beets

By Yankee Magazine

Mar 24 2003

Becky Quinn reports, “These pickled beets have a good combination of sweet and sour tastes and because of this have won first place at five different Ozark Empire Fairs.” Becky, who learned to can at her grandmother’s side starting at 6 years old, has made this recipe three times a summer for the past 38 years. “I could make these in my sleep,” she says with a laugh.


6 pints


35 to 40 small beets or 15 large beets
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves


In a kettle, cook the beets until tender. Dip in cold water and peel off the skins. Slice 1/4 inch thick or cut into quarters if using smaller beets. Pack tightly (snug but not bruising each other) into canning jars.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and whole cloves. Boil for 10 minutes and pour at once over the beets, leaving a 3/4-inch headspace (the liquid should go no farther than the shoulder of the jar). Process in a boiling-water bath for 12 minutes. Remove immediately and cool on a rack.