When I shared a few days ago, I had told you that I would share my recipes I have for canning and preserving vegetables from the garden, since I have had so many asking. Now that it is slowed down quite a bit, I feel like I am taking back control of the schedule and can begin to share again.
As written in an earlier blog Is Your Kitchen Busy These Days, the garden at that time was in full swing and total chaos was taking place. I have just gotten my last run of tomatoes and they are on the stove now making pizza sauce. The peppers and cucumbers are done but the okra and all the herbs are still in full swing. Please know that I am just trying to give you an honest picture of gardening and preserving foods for your family. I have said it many times, and I will say it again, it is many long hours and a lot of work, but so very much worth it!
Anyway, today I thought I would share my Sweet Relish Recipe. It goes great on those summer hotdogs cooked out on the grill and we often use it for making chicken and tuna salad or just as a side with a big bowl of beans. It’s not complicated and I’ve tried several recipes that were. I like simple. Mine is a combination of a couple that I found on Pinterest, I’m sorry but I don’t remember where on Pinterest to give you a link, as was well as my trusty Ball Blue Book for Preserving Book. My book is the 37th edition so there are many on the market. I got mine as a birthday gift from my daughter and I love it!
SWEET PICKLE RELISH
Yield: about 4 pints
4 cups – Chopped Cucumbers
2 cups – Chopped Onions
1 cup – Chopped Green Bell Pepper
1 cup – Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1/2 cup – Pickling and Preserving Salt
3 cups – White Sugar
1 tbl sp – Celery seed
1 tbl sp – Mustard seed
2 cups – White Vinegar
Pickle Crisp (optional)
I will be honest my first couple years of canning, I was using a vegetable chopper that I got from my mom and chopped what felt like hours in a metal tub, but wow, it took a really long time to get the vegetables chopped fine enough for a relish and my arm was horribly sore the next day. Last years Black Friday, 2016, I was determined to make things simpler and quicker in the kitchen so I splurged for a Hamilton Beach Food Processor and its been a life saver. I do want to mention that I keep a list on my refrigerator for “wants” and when Black Friday rolls around, that’s the only day of the year I am willing to purchase such items. It’s Christmas for me and it saves us lots of money.
Anyway, back to the recipe. If you are using a hand food chopper, you will need a large wash tub or bowl for chopping your vegetables in. You will need to do these 1 at a time so you can measure.
1. Wash all your vegetables well in cold running water, drain.
2. Cucumbers – Remove stems and blossom end, chop, and measure out 4 cups
3. Onions – Peel, chop, and measure out 2 cups
4. Peppers – Remove stems and seeds, chop and measure out 1 cup EACH
Combine in a large bowl all chopped vegetables and mix well. I use my hand for doing this. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup salt over the vegetables (DO NOT MIX IN IT) and allow to sit for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, drain vegetables and using a fine mesh strainer, such as this one, wash thoroughly to remove salt with cold running water.
Combine in a large sauce pan, spices, sugar, and vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil until sugar has melted and pour in vegetables, simmer for 15 minutes. Your vegetables will turn a darker color.
Fill hot jars with mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1/4 tsp pickle crisp if you are using it. Place lid onto hot jar and tighten ring finger tight and place on the rack in your water boiler canner.
Cover jars with 1 inch hot water and place lid on boiler. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat and process jars for 15 minutes. Gently remove lid or boiler and allow jars to rest for 5 minutes in the water. Remove and place on a towel on the counter and allow to sit for 24 hrs.
Check your seals, label and store.
I hope you enjoy the sweet relish when you try it. How does your family use Sweet Relish?