5 lbs pounds fresh small beets, stems removed
1 cups white sugar
2 tsp pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar
2 TBSP whole cloves
Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the beet water, cool and peel. If you have not done beets before, at this stage, the peels will slide right off. Choose a container(s) with a good cover. Fill the container with beets and add the cloves. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets and cover and allow to cool before placing them in the refrigerator at least over night.
If you wish to can the beets to keep for an extended period, place the beets into jars (either pint or quart) which have been sterilized in hot water and allow to dry. Pour liquid over as described above. Seal the jars. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely and check to be sure the jar has sealed. If it has, the lid will be snapped down and cannot be pushed any further.
This method will work for any pickles.