Sunday, July 17, 2011

Canning Sweet Pickle Relish

Some things are worth the hard work involved and I love good pickles, so today I decided to can up a batch of sweet pickle relish.  I will give my disclaimer here and tell you that I don't give specific instructions on how to can.  It is well worth it for you to have a couple of basic "how to" canning books on your shelves.

Sweet Pickle Relish

6 cups seeded, finely chopped pickling cucumbers (about six medium)
2 cups finely chopped onions (four medium)
2 cups finely chopped red, sweet peppers (2 large)
1/4 cup pickling salt
3 cups white sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 Tbs. mustard seeds
2 tsps. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

Kirby cucumbers are the type of cucumber described as a pickling cucumber, but any young cucumber can be used.  The ones I had were about 4-5 inches long.

Pickling Cucumber
Place the chopped vegetables into a glass or plastic bowl (metal will affect the taste), add salt, stir gently and cover with cold water.  Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for two hours.  Take a nap.

Use Pickling Salt

It is important to use a canning/pickling salt when making pickles.  Canning salt is finer and doesn't contain iodides that can cause cloudy looking pickling liquid.  Your measurements won't be correct if you use another type of salt.

Use Glass or Plastic Bowl

Prepare your canning supplies following the instructions in your canning book.  This recipes uses the water bath method and makes 7 one half pint jars.

Organize Your Canning Area

Drain the vegetables in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Drain again.

In a non-aluminum pot mix sugar, vinegar and spices.  Heat to boiling, then add vegetables.  Bring back to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Simmer In Pickling Liquid

Ladle the hot relish into hot, sterilized canning jars.  Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.  Wipe the jar rims, place on hot lid and hand tighten the screw top.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Start timing when water returns to the boil.  Remove the cans from the canner and leave alone to cool.  Disturbing the jars or readjusting the lids can cause seal failure.

So Pretty!  The White Film From Hard Water Will Be Wiped Off After They Are Cool.
You could add some hot peppers to this recipe if you like a hot relish or more onions; it depends on your family's individual tastes.

Buying relish on sale with coupons is probably cheaper than making pickles with purchased vegetables, but remember my philosophy of being able to make things for yourself.  Plus, if you are a gardener you will need to put up your vegetables or they will go to waste.  Pickling is a tried and true way of preserving the harvest.  Plus, your family will love that you made these for them.

God bless,

1 comment:

  1. I made pickle relish using this recipe. I looked at a lot of recipes and liked yours. It's delicious! The change I made was I used less sugar, I like a tart relish.

    You're right, you can certainly buy relish cheaper than making it. But after making (and tasting) your own you realize the store bought stuff has colors and flavors that didn't come from nature.