Before we start, I want to say that relish is one of my very favorite groups of products. The way people use relishes vary from coast to coast. Some use relish as a condiment: some use it as an ingredient for making something else. A couple of my favorite ways to use various relishes is as a topping for burgers and hot dogs. I also like the way Mary Lynn makes homemade tartar sauce for fish using relish. My outer family (the ones that don’t live in my house) use some as a topping for meats and vegetables at the dinner table. So you see just in my family group, we have many different ways of using a relish. Even in the title I used relish to describe my joy in making relish. The blog that I did early in my blog career about Pepper Relish is the most popular by far of all the blogs I have written. If you have missed it here is a link to go back to it https://canucanit.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=234&action=edit. If you use this link, you have to promise to return and try some of the new relishes listed below.
I think that more relish is made in the late summer and early fall. I think that is because more summer veggies have their final harvest and some of the fall plants are starting to show early rewards. Well, enough of my going on, let’s get busy making some relish! I will give you the recipe and let you make your own shopping list. Also these recipes make a large amount. If you cut the size be sure and cut everything the same way. If you don’t I am not sure what the end results will be. When Mary Lynn was reading this, she burst out laughing because she has done that. All Relishes after processing need to sit at least a week to taste best. They should be kept in a dry area away from direct sunlight.
A huge seller in our business was Black Bean Relish. It uses a fair amount of time and ingredients, but well worth the effort. A hint about this relish, it is one that is better the longer you let it set, allow at least a month. You can enjoy the taste when you are making it, but that is nothing like the taste after a month has passed.
5 cups cooked and rinsed black beans (you can use canned beans, but fresh cooked is best by far), 4 cups frozen cut or niblets corn, 3 cups chopped small red & green bell peppers, 1 cup chopped small sweet banana peppers, 4 cups white vinegar, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions, 1 teaspoon dried mustard, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 tablespoon salt (Kosher, Sea or Canning).Combine all ingredients in a large cooking pot. Mix completely. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off. Put into canning jars that have been washed and dried. Leave 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar, this is very important becuase the beans expand. Using a damp paper towel, clean the rims of the jars. Place sterile domes (boiled in water) and rings on jars. Finger tighten the rings (also very important. Too loose and water will leak in, too tight and air will not escape from the jars and they will not seal). Process in a boiling water bath (with at least 2 inches of water above the top of the jars) 20 minutes, start time after the water comes back to a boil. Make sure that the jars do not touch the bottom of the water bath, they will burst. Use a rack, preferably a canning pot to boil with. Carefully remove the jars and let sit over night to completely seal. In the morning check for jars that have not sealed. They have to have new domes and be reprocessed.
This is a canning pot. Notice the rack for setting jars into a boiling bath and for safely removing them. Cost is $20.00 or less in some places. It is worth the cost if you are going to do more than one project. With the dangers of jars busting, it is almost worth it for one project. The right equipment really does make a difference!
Looks like a big job. After you have made a relish or two, it will not look so bad. Don’t be afraid to tackle it. The taste rewards are worth the effort. making relish is not as bad as making some jellies. At least you can buy what you need from the grocers. You don’t have to climb a tree to get what you need.
Next up Chow Chow. I did not studder, the name really is Chow Chow. How it got this name and what it means, I haven’t a clue. I have asked many people who I thought might be able to help me, they all said that was the name they have always known. According to Wikipedia, it is a Nova Scotian and American pickle relish made from a combination of vegetables. They still don’t say why the name. They do say that the word chow refers to a French word Chou which means cabbage. They also say that is refers to a Chinese word and a reference to an Indianan word chayote. That is India not American Indian, but maybe both. Like I said no single thing can describe the name of the next relish.
Chow Chow. 10 quarts chopped green tomatoes, 5 quarts finely chopped cabbage, 8 cups chopped onions, 8 cups chopped green bell pepper, 4 cups chopped red bell pepper, 1 gallon white vinegar, 8 cups sugar, 4 tablespoons pickling spice (we used 1/2 Sauer’s and 1/2 Kroger Brand), 1 teaspoon celery seeds or more to taste, 1 teaspoon mustard seed, 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric.
Combine cabbage, tomatoes, onion and peppers in a large non-metal container. Cover with 1 quart water and 1/2 cup salt (Kosher, Sea or Canning). Cover mixture and refrigerate over night. Next day, drain and rinse a couple of times, draining very well the last time. Mix vinegar, sugar, celery seed, ground mustard and turmeric. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully add your drained vegetables and bring back to a boil, mixing as well as possible. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and hot pack 8 ounce canning jars. Use the same precautions and instructions as above. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and let sit over night. Check for unsealed jars that need reprocessing.
I was told that the Pennsylvania Dutch make this, but they use purple cabbage and purple onions. Adds color, but tastes just about the same. Don’t know what they call it, maybe Purple Cabbage Chow Chow. The person that relayed the info was just passing on something she had seen at a craft show in Pennsylvania. If anybody has that info, don’t be shy, send it to me in an e-mail. I promise I won’t use your name if you don’t want me to. Seems like Chow Chow in one form or another could almost be called “The All-American Relish”. It has been made in one form or another all over the USA and probably the world.
Wow, all this and only two recipes. Well it looks like I am going to have to do a couple of more blogs on relish to give you just some of our recipes for the favorites. I am not going to do them back to back, I will post them every few blogs Don’t want my jelly people to forget me. Next on the menu is Garlic Relish. Now don’t tune out when you hear the word Garlic. This is a great relish to make dip with for parties. Great rub for roasted chicken. I love it on Brats from the grill. But that is just me. I am a Garlic lover, you can never have too much garlic. Something most don’t realize is that when garlic is pickled, it developes a sweet taste. Not like jelly sweet, but a milder taste that taste sweet. It is hard to describe, so you are just going to have to trust me on this one. Well without any more delay:
Garlic Relish – 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup minced garlic, 1/3 cup finely chopped red & green bell peppers, 1/3 cup finely chopped cubanelle peppers (a medium/mild heat pepper), 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, 1/3 finely chopped yellow bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt (Kosher, Sea or Canning).
Bring vinegar and sugar to boil. Add garlic and simmer 25-30 minutes. Add peppers, onion and remaining ingredients and spices. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring completely during this time. Same directions for jarring relish. Process 15 minutes in water bath.
For Hot Garlic Relish add one heaping tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes and 3 tablespoons diced Jalapeno’ Peppers.
To close out this blog I am going to give you a recipe that we made up using whatever we had on hand at the time. It was an experiment that worked out better than we could have ever hoped. So good that we made it all the year-long from that point. Looking for a name to go with this, we came up with Christmas Relish. How original can we be. If you only try one relish on this entire page, please try this one. I think it will become your families favorite.
Christmas Relish – 6 cups chopped red bell peppers, 6 cups chopped green bell peppers, 6 cups chopped Granny Smith apples, 6 cups chopped Rome apples, 2 cups cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons salt (Kosher, Sea or Caning), 3 tablespoons mustard seeds, 2 cups chopped Vidalia (or any Sweet) Onions, 2 cups chopped purple onions.
Combine all ingredients in large pot, heat gently, while mixing completely, simmer for 15 minutes. Using instructions above jar relish. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
If you did not notice, all the ingredients were sort of Christmas colors. It is a bright and sweet tasting relish to go with almost anything you would use relish or sweet pickle relish for. It is great on just about anything we tried. It seemed that we reached for this relish every time till the jar was empty.
I think this is about as many recipes as I can get in a single blog. If you pay attention to what the people who make the rules say all blogs should be under 1000 words. So far the closest has been around 1300. Just like every thing else in the world. I don’t listen to the rules makers. I just make my own as I go along. Not that I confuse myself with the people who explored and settled our country. But they didn’t listen to rules either. The world was not flat, you get to India by sailing West from Spain. They didn’t listen and I don’t either. I am not sure how good they were at making jellies or relish, but I am not good at discovering new countries.
On this note, I close in my usual way. I ask for you to pass on my blog to friends and neighbors and to subscribe at the bottom of the page. Looks like you are coming back to read, but no body subscribes. That is the way the rules makers come up with how successful a blog is. If you look down you will see 8 people have subscribed. That makes me a not very successful writer. I will keep on writing even if you don’t click. But it would be more fun if you did.
Also coming in the future…. Mary Lynn and I are going to start selling some of our most requested items from a website. The site www.austinhouse.biz is not ready yet. I will let you know when we are up. If you like you can purchase something from us and compare it to what you have made. See how things match up against us.
Please let me know what you would like to make or any ideas you have for the next blog. Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t keep my blogs a secret, and pass the word on to your friends, neighbors and family members. They just might make something and share with you.