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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gardening Brings Sweet Pickle Relish

When we came out of Church on Sunday there was a bag of cucumbers on the hood of our car!  That was a nice surprise.  There were enough that I could not eat them all before they became soft.  I found a recipe for Sweet Pickle Relish.

Today I went to our garden and picked the next few almost-ready-to-eat cucumbers and weighed the gift plus ours.  It was one ounce below the amount called for in the recipe.  That was good enough for me!  Onward and upward with the pickle relish!!!

This is the recipe:

3 pounds Pickling Cucumbers or 4 pounds of Large Cucumbers
1 Large Sweet Onion
¼ cup Pickling or Kosher Salt
3 cups White Vinegar
¾ cup Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 teaspoons Dill Seed
2 teaspoons Mustard Seed
2 teaspoons Celery Seed
½ teaspoon Turmeric

This is what I did:
Washed the cucumbers then sliced off both ends.  (I don't know which of the ends is bitter so I took some from both ends.)    
Cut the cucumbers in quarters lengthwise then scraped out all the seeds with a spoon and tossed the seeds into the compost bucket.

Cucumbers ready for the food processor.

Cut the cucumbers into 1-2-inch pieces and put into the food processor bowl.
Peeled and chopped the onion into similar sized pieces. (I had used up the sweet onion on a barbecued black bean burger for lunch so I had to use one medium and one small red onion.  We shall see if that was a good idea...)

Pulsed the food processor until the vegetables were the size I like relish to be...8-10 pulses.

Measured the chopped cucumbers and onions.  It was just about exactly 6 cups.  Placed them in a large stainless steel pot and added the salt.  Stirred well then covered and set aside with the timer running for two hours.

In the meantime into a small bowl I measured the sugar, dill SEED, not WEED, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric.  
Finished relish, still steaming in the pot.

OH RATS!!! I also used up the garlic on the barbecued black bean burgers!  Can you believe it!!  So I used one Tablespoon of granulated garlic.  We shall see if THAT was a good idea, too.

After letting the cucumbers and RED onions soak with kosher salt for two hours, I drained them well in a sieve then pushed hard on them with my hands to get the vegetables as dry as possible.

Next put the vinegar, sugar, and spices in the same large stainless steel bowl which I had rinsed, then brought them to a rolling boil.  Stirred in the cucumbers and onions and brought back to a full boil then reduced heat to medium low/simmer.  I let them simmer for 15 minutes then set the timer again for 5 more minutes and stood over the pot stirring almost constantly. I wanted to get as much of the juice to evaporate as possible.

The last step is to let the relish cool and store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.  If you don't think you can eat it all in a month, the process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal the jars.

We had some very mildly-flavored black bean burgers in the refrigerator.  I had not had my full complement of legumes for today so I put one burger in a bowl and covered with relish.  It is pretty good!

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