Archive | 6:18 pm

Sweet Relish

10 Sep

When I was young, my Aunt Mildred gave my mom the best ever sweet pickle relish recipe.  She got it from one of the old ladies from the town where she lived.  My aunt was born in 1925, and she referred to her as an old lady, so I have no idea how old the recipe is.

Reading it, however, you realize it’s old enough that it doesn’t use actual measurements for the veggies.  I’ve always gotten more from the recipe than it says you’ll get, so I’m guessing we grow tomatoes a lot bigger than they used to be.  I cannot vouch for its safety based on the FDA’s standards for home canning, but it’s delicious and I haven’t died from it yet.  It’s also a great way to use green tomatoes at the end of the season.

I picked my 24 green tomatoes, 8 green peppers, and (from the fridge) 10 onions, washed them and then quartered them.

I also use the vintage food grinder the same aunt gave my mom shortly after she was married.  I wouldn’t know how to make it with modern items.  I’m guessing you can just put them in the food processor and chop them.

As I kept grinding, I poured it from my little bowl into a big one.  It does take quite the big bowl to hold it all.

When everything is all chopped up, add the 3 Tablespoons of salt.  Then cover it and let is set in the refrigerator over night.

In the morning, I used cheesecloth to make it easier to drain.  It was super easy to squeeze out the juice through the cheesecloth, but I’m not sure it will ever be truly white again.

If you don’t have cheesecloth, you could use a clean pillow case or probably even just your hands.  When you finish squeezing it out, you’ll have nice balls of green stuff.

Then you add the rest of the ingredients:  4 cups of sugar, 2 cups of vinegar, 2 Tablespoons of celery seed, and 4 Tablespoons of mustard seed.  Mix it all up and cook it for 40 minutes.

I didn’t use too high of a temperature, and I stirred it enough to keep it from sticking, but not constantly.

Eventually, it will look and smell like relish.  A lot of the liquid will cook out.  After the 40 minutes, ladle it into jars.  I prefer half-pint jars.

Then adjust your lids and process in a hot water bath for fifteen minutes.  You might have noticed that the handwriting on the recipe (above) is different for the processing time. I had to look that up because the original recipe just said to seal it.

I just want to go have a hot dog now!

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