One thing about having a GREEN GARDEN, sooner or later it REALLY PRODUCES! This past weekend We made my family's favorite-LAST OF THE GARDEN RELISH.
All the zucchini and pickles are from our GREEN GARDEN. Three of the red pepper are from the store, but the rest are from our garden.
We have four different kinds of cucumbers this year---and lots of rain so they get big, really fast!
I used a package of celery and two bags of store bought onions.
Here is our setup, now to wait for help! My Mom's ancient Rival Grinder is set up for coarse ground into my biggest enamel pan. (You can use a food chopper, just pulse though until chopped.) Everything is washed and cleaned. (I do cut the tips off of the cukes and seed them, when the seeds are large.)
My son remembers helping at my parents' cottage, and my d-in-law wants to learn how to make his favorites. Here the Grand is watching but wanting to help. I'm on the right chopping onions and peppers. The following recipe is for a much smaller amount. But, you can double, triple, quadruple this easily.
Have to get your hair out of the way!
We quarter the long way all the large vegetables, and grind them into the big bowl.
I'm keeping the celery and onions separate to keep some proportions close to the recipe.
Despite the noise of the grinder, the Grand had to get into it!
She learned what muscles are! PUSH it down!
I measured the pickles/zuchinni and green tomatoes, and then made the proportions of peppers and onions to follow the recipe. I just used an entire whole celery. Everything was measured out--and then mixed together. The chopped vegetables seemed like a mountain. It's important that you salt the veggies in an enamel or glass bowl, due to discoloration.
I added the salt for curing the veggies and mixed it all very well with my hands. The bowl was then covered in plastic wrap and left on the counter overnight.
Next morning to get the salt washed out---I dumped 1/2 the veggies into a towel stretched out on my clean drainer on my sink. Towels are oblong and so is the strainer, perfect!
Then you rinse completely while stirring through all the veggies.
Pulling up the towel, and literally wedging it like bread dough, I pushed all the liquid out, then opened it up again in the drainer and rinsed again, making sure every corner was rinsed and then squeezed it all out again. (TO REMOVE THE EXTRA SALT)
Here's what 1/2 of the veggies looked like after rinsing and squeezing out the juice.
Here's the 'sauce' with the bouquet garni---simmering on the stove at medium temperature.
The Tumeric gives it a yellowish color and the mustard seed.
This is the readied kettle for the waterbath. I use one of my pressure canners with a regular lid from another pan on top. The raised floor keeps the jars from getting too much heat on the bottom. Meanwhile, my clean jars are on trays in the oven at a little over 200 degrees.
Honestly, isn't this just gorgeous--all those healthy veggies, swimming in vinegars, spices and sugar! Smells, divine!
Here's why I use the colored peppers---it makes it just so pretty!
WE use this relish on sausages, hamburgers, to make Thousand Island Dressing, and in tartar sauce. We all love it, I hope you try it with your end of the garden produce!
Garden Pickle Relish makes 8 pints or so.
10 cups Total of Ground or chopped in processor mixture of: cored green tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and/or cabbage.
2 cups of chopped/ground celery (for crunch)
4 cups of chopped green, red, or mixed sweet peppers
4 cups of chopped/ground onions (I've used red/white/yellow)
(don't be afraid to increase or decrease any of the above just try and keep the total cups about the same or increase the sauce.)
Thoroughly mix all together in enamel or glass bowl with 1/2 cup of CANNING SALT. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit over night on the counter.
Next day, place in colander or draining container covered with cotton (thin) towel. Stir and rinse thoroughly. Tighten towel up---twist and work the water out until nothing more drains. REPEAT.
Meanwhile, prepare the pickling sauce:
Prepare a fabric pouch for Bouquet Garni (Spice Bag), add 2 TBSP of pickling Spice. 1/2 stick of stick/crushed cinnamon, and 1 tsp of whole cloves (if it isn't in the pickling spice). Tie up with cotton string so none of the spices slip out. (Make sure pickling spice doesn't have HOT PEPPERS), unless you want the burn.
Mix in large kettle:
3 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup of White Vinegar
2 cups of water
4-6 cups of sugar (I try and use as little as possible)
1 Tbspoon of Celery Seed
2 Tbspoons of Mustard Seed
1 1/2 tsp. of Tumeric
Add the spice bag..and bring everything to a slow simmer and stirring to make sure sugar is dissolved. (Taste test---it should taste sweet, followed by the vinegar going up your nose.) Add more sugar or water if it is too strong (burns your nose) then add a little at a time.
ADD the veggies, and bring to a bubbling simmer on medium heat, stirring to distribute all the seasonings through the vegetables. (Leave the spice bag in) and Simmer for 15 minutes.
Ladle hot relish into hot sterilized jars, wipe rims and put on boiled lids/caps. Place jars in boiling hot water bath(fill kettle 1/2 full if you have a full load of bottles, with extra hot water on the side). Make sure jars are covered by at least 1/2" of water. Bring back to full boil, boil 15 minutes remove to hot pads, cork, or cloth covered boards, and quickly cover with towels to slow cooling.
The lids should all be indented down after cooling, any jars not sealed, you can leave in the refrigerator for immediate use. This keeps very well in the refrigerator.
ENJOY! This is our family favorite! And SON no.2's absolute hot dog/hamburger accompaniment.
This Should make around 8-10 pints give or take! Great for hostess gifts or for a BBQ'r!
What's your favorite BBQ necessity?
Thank you for your cooperation,