Specifically, this is the Pickled Beets recipe on p. 311 of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
These organic CSA beets average about 1″-2″ in diameter; this many beets will produce a good 3 pint jars worth of canned beets.
Scrub the beets and cut the stems off, leaving about 2″ of stem so as not to bleed out the beet juice.
Immerse the beets in cold water, covering them about 1″ above.
This is why you can’t save that initial bathwater, because no matter how thoroughly you scrub those beets, some sediment – earthy tannin – will be left behind.
Cut the stems and remove the skins; a thorough boil means the skins will sliiiiide right off.
A bowl of delicious looking beets is what you’re left with. You could, at this point, just gobble them up!
But let’s can them instead. Cut the larger beets to size, and immerse them in a bath of pickling liquid; bring it to the boil.
After the jars are packed, hot water bath them and you’ll have a few jars of delicious beets for many months to come, and they’ll be as fresh as the day they were picked. Brilliant!