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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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Zucchini

18 Jul

My zucchini plants are really producing well. I have zucchini overload. That is despite my dog (the maniac) who keeps eating them while they are still waiting to be picked.  Well, he ate half of this one.  He just sampled several others.

Then there’s Rocky (the monster).  He knocked the one Sky started eating on the floor and was going to finish it.  I swear, those two will drive me to the loony bin.

At least the chickens appreciate whatever Sky leaves of the zucchinis he starts (after I wrestle it away from the cat).

Anyhow, despite the monster and the maniac, I still have more zucchini than I know what to do with.  I’ve sold some at the farmer’s market (I was the first to have them and sold all I took. Last week someone else brought some and sold them for cheaper–zucchini price wars!).  I can only eat zucchini patties for lunch so many days in a row.  That means it’s time for a new zucchini recipe!

I wanted to do cinnamon zucchini rolls.  The only one I found on the Internet was  just a cinnamon roll recipe that someone shredded a cup of zucchini and rolled up with the cinnamon and sugar filling.  That just seems weird.  There’s no recipe like I wanted, so I set about making my own.

I started with peeling and boiling a zucchini.

Then I drained the pan and mashed the zucchini like a potato.

I added it to my milk and butter when I heated them.  The rest is just like any other cinnamon roll recipe.  The results were delicious!

I shared with several members of my family to make sure the recipe was blog worthy (all affirmative responses) and to keep me from eating them all.

Cinnamon Zucchini Rolls

In a medium sauce pan heat the following to about 120*F

  • 3/4 cup of milk (I used whole goat milk)
  • 1 cup mashed zucchini (see above)
  • 1/3 cup margarine (cut in pads)

In a large mixing bowl measure

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp of rapid rise yeast (you could do one packet)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Add the warm liquid to the flour mixture and stir.  Add

  • 2 eggs

Mix in another 2 1/2 – 3 cups of flour.  When it gets too stiff to stir, dump it onto the counter and continue kneading and adding the flour until it is a soft but not sticky dough.

Let the dough rest for ten minutes.  Then divide it in half.  Roll each half out in a rectangle that is about 9 inches by 12 inches. Spread with margarine and a mixture of 1 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. cinnamon (that is for both rolls).  Roll the dough on the 9 inch side.  Slice it into 9 1-inch pieces and place them in two sprayed round cake pans.

Put them in a warm place and let them rise 30 – 40 minutes or until they’ve nearly doubled in size.

Bake at 350* for 35 minutes or so.  I had to cover mine with foil that last ten minutes so they didn’t get too brown.  Makes 18 rolls.

Frost with a cream cheese (or other) frosting.

I do hope you’ll come back to join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s list at the top of my side bar.

Friday’s Hunt v2.9

26 Aug

Welcome back to Friday’s Hunt.  I want to thank everyone who joined in last week.  I had a lot of fun visiting everyone who linked up.  It’s very simple.  Anyone can participate.  The link opens at 7pm Central time and will close Sunday at 7pm, so you have plenty of time to enter. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to visit some of the other entries.

If you didn’t participate this week but would like to next week, the topics will be:  Starts with J, Week’s Favorite, and surprise.  I will always keep a list of the items for the coming week in my sidebar at the top. I am crazy busy on the farm right now, but I will make sure to visit all participants.  Without further ado, here’s my interpretations for the week.

Starts with I:  Instructions for roasted tomato sauce.  I was asked for more instructions on how to do the roasted tomatoes.  I have to give credit to Claire because she was kind enough to tell me how to do it.  I did make a minor adjustment or so, but it’s Claire who deserves credit.

Wash, core and remove any bad spots from the tomatoes.  Then coarsely chunk them into glass baking dishes.  Because it heats the whole house, I prefer to do as many as I can at one time.  I personally add onion, green pepper, and garlic.  You can add whatever you want.  Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and put them in a 400*F oven.  Bake it for three hours.  You will have to make sure to carefully stir them to keep the tops from burning.

tomato sauce_4277ews

tomato sauce_4280ews

Then you just put them through the colander.  If you don’t mind the seeds and skins staying in there, you can just put it through a blender.  Then I add seasoning to taste.  For me, it’s some oregano, basil and more garlic.

roasted tomatoes4281ews

Then it’s ready to freeze or can.  I can mine for space reasons, so I add 1/4 tsp. citric acid (1/2 tsp./quart) and process them in a water bath for 35 minutes for pints (40 minutes for quarts).

Week’s Favorite:  I want to thank everyone who has inquired about Cutie.  She’s doing quite well!  The swelling is down and the infection is gone.  The knee still doesn’t bend well, but I’m sure it will take a lot of work to get it back in shape and build muscles.

Cutie Pie Goodberry

Cutie Pie Goodberry

She’s even managed to get in the patio chair for a nap!

kid in chair4660ews

Pink: Going back to work has really taken time away from the farm.  I am going back to more butterfly pictures from earlier in the month for pink.  They just love those pink flowers! It better be close enough to pink because that’s all I’ve got.

Monarch

Monarch

Thanks so much!

Now it’s your turn: