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.
In a kettle, cook the beets until tender. Dip in cold water and peel off the skins. Slice ¼ 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 ¾-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.