Even the most timid among us should feel a blast of confidence when pondering this week’s stories about pickling, canning and chutneys. As food writer and former Washingtonian Kim O’Donnel learned, with a little instruction and support you can morph from total newbie into canny canner in no time. And our easy-to-follow recipes will help you get there.

Kim will be on hand today at noon sharp for our weekly Free Range chat, ready to field your questions about food preservation. She’ll be joined by Cathy Barrow, who blogs at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen.and is a veteran pickler.

To get this party started early, I thought I’d pull a canning-related chat leftover from the files and ask Cathy to come up with the answer. She did, and so here’s the first canning Q&A of the day. More are sure to follow at noon; don’t forget to tune in to the chat.

I love those fabulous pink pickled turnip pieces that are served in Middle Eastern restaurants. Do you have a recipe for that anywhere, or know where to find one? I don’t usually love turnips, but I can’t ever get enough of these in a restaurant.

Here’s Cathy’s response.

Those pink turnip pickles get their color from beets. When I make these pickles, I like to layer baby turnips and baby beets in a jar. It’s pretty and so tasty!

9 small baby white turnips

3 small baby beets

2 1 / 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (seeds removed if you don’t want super spicy)

1 / 2 teaspoon celery seed

1 cup water

1 1 / 2 cup white vinegar

Trim and peel the turnips and the beets. Leave them whole if they are tiny; otherwise, cut them into halves or quarters.

Place the vegetables in a glass or ceramic bowl, add the salt and combine. Cover, and allow the mixture to sit overnight.

Transfer the vegetables and any liquid that has accumulated to a glass pint jar. Add the jalapeno pepper and celery seed.

Combine the water and vinegar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is barely bubbling at the edges. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and into the jar. If the liquid doesn’t cover the turnips and beets, add water.

Place the jar in a sunny spot. The pickled vegetables will be ready to eat after 2 days.