Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sweet Garden Relish

Hot jars waiting for labels

I based my version on a recipe here.  I added a couple of spices, and some squash.  Otherwise, the recipe is about the same.

food processor (or a knife, cutting board and lots of time)

jar lifter
magnetic lid lifter
ladle/measuring cup
wooden spoon

6C chopped cucumbers
3C chopped yellow squash
3 red/green bell peppers
2 onions
1/2C canning/pickling salt
cold tap water

Pickling Spices:
2C apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 Tablespoon peppercorns (I used mixed colored)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid (optional, to protect color)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

  1. Wash and dry 10 half pint jars and lids.
  2. Run all your veggies through a food processor until your desired dice.  Chunky or fine, it's up to you.  Place them in a large bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle salt over all, cover with cold tap water and soak for 2 hours.
  3. Start your water bath canner heating on the stove - cover it to speed the process up.
  4. Drain veggies in a colander then rinse well with cold water - DO NOT SKIP THE RINSING! I nearly ruined a batch by forgetting to rinse the salt out.  After the veggies taste unsalted again, leave in the colander to drain for 20 minutes or so.  We want as much water out as possible - you can press and squeeze to speed this up.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together all the pickling spices in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
  6. When the veggies are drained, add to the pickling spices pot.  Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  7. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, turn off, and add your lids.
  8. Your water bath should be boiling by now (if not, turn off your relish and then bring it back to a simmer when your water is boiling)  I like to use my water bath to sanitize my jars, so put your 10 jars down into the boiling water - it helps to hold your jar on the end of a wooden spoon, then lower it down slowly.  
  9. After 3-5 minutes sanitizing, you are ready to pack.  Use your jar lifter to bring out 1 jar and pour the boiling water back into the canner.  Set it on a dry washcloth or towel near your stove, relish, lids and rings.  Use a funnel and ladle to fill your jar to about halfway up the threads - leaving 1/2" headspace.  If your relish is chunky, run a chopstick up and down the inside a few times to release bubbles.
  10. Wipe the rim with a wet washcloth, use the magnetic lid lifter to bring a lid out of the hot water, place on jar and add a ring - only fingertip tight.  Set the packed jar on the counter near your waterbath.
  11. Fill all jars the same way - I got 9 half-pints from my batch.  I always prep an extra jar or 2 just in case.
  12. Add your jars to the waterbath, then wait for it to return to a good rolling boil.  Time it for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove jars to a thick towel or cooling rack - they must not touch, and need to be undisturbed for 12 hours.
  14. After 12 hours, check for seal - the lid should not pop up and down.  Any that are not sealed may be reprocessed, or just stored in the fridge and eaten first.

Eat on hotdogs, burgers, brauts, chips - anything!

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