Homemade relish has fallen by the wayside over the years, but it is a great way to use small quantities of vegetables and also offers a lot of variety.
In my grandma’s time pickling or drying fruits and vegetables were a housewife’s only options, but nowadays with refrigeration and freezing we can refrigerate instead of pickle.
The pickling process was just that, a process. It involved (and still does) clean sterile jars, heated ingredients or pickling liquid, jars lid that would seal when cooled and a large storage area for the product.
My grandmother’s basement was a treasure trove of beautiful, colorful jars lined up like soldiers on the shelves. There were golden peaches, green pickles, dark red beets, red tomatoes, green peas and beans, pale pears, and yellow jars of corn. The bins held potatoes, squash, apples and pumpkins.
It was her very own grocery store and it was a joy as a kid to be sent down there to get a jar of something.
One other advantage to making relishes today is the food processor. My grandmother either had to hand chop things or use her food grinder. The food grinder was silver cast iron and clamped onto the edge of the table. It had different size disks for fine, medium and coarse ground. Small amounts of food were fed into the top as you turned the handle and the ground up food came out the side and fell into a bowl put there to catch it. I still have my mother’s food grinder and use it to grind the giblets to add to my turkey dressing at Thanksgiving. Here are a few relish recipes you might want to try.
Relishes are tasty additions to a meal or a sandwich or can be eaten like salsa freshca or on crackers with cream cheese.
Here is a vegetable relish from Donna Syverson, but apparently created by a friend. It’s called-
Margy’s Vegetable Relish
1 can whole kernel corn
l small can peas
1 regular can French cut green beans
1/2 cup finely cut green pepper
1/2 cup finely sliced onion
Bring the following ingredients to a boil and pour over the above while hot;
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar or salad vinegar
Cool mixture and refrigerate
2 medium onions
4 dill pickles
Grate or chop all together. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix all together, let set overnight or 12-14 hours before using.
Boil beets, slip skins, grind enough to make 6 cups. Add 3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar, slowly boil 20 minutes. Add 1 package Sure Jel, boil 2-4 minute more. Put in jars and seal.
Both above recipes are from Mrs. Ed Stroh (One of the best cooks I know and who has three daughters living in Mobridge – Ione Oster, Jan Scherr and Wanda Martin- who are equally fine cooks.)
6 large cucumbers, do not peel
6 medium carrots
6 medium onions
Put above vegetables through food chopper. Add 2 Tbsp salt. Let set 3 hours. Drain. Bring to a boil.
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
Add to vegetable and simmer 20 minutes. Stir well, put into pint jars or 1/2 pint jars and seal. Makes 4 pints or 8 1/2 pints.
From Emma Sackman
4 cups ground onions
4 cups ground cabbage
4 cups ground green tomatoes
12 green peppers
6 sweet red peppers
Grind vegetables using coarse blade. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup salt, let stand overnight. Rinse and drain.
Combine 6 cups sugar
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 Tbsp celery seed
2 Tbsps mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
Add to vegetable mixture. Heat to boiling and simmer 3 minutes. Seal in sterilized jars. Makes about 8 pints.
Green and Red Pepper Relish
12 large red peppers
12 large green peppers
12 large onions
Remove seed from peppers. Grind peppers and onions in food chopper. Pour boiling water over mixture. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain.
Make a solution of 1 pint vinegar and 2 pints water and 3 Tbsps salt.
Put peppers and onions in this solution and let come to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Drain.
1 pint vinegar
3 cups sugar
Green Tomato Relish
32 medium green tomatoes, peeled cored and chopped
1 large head cabbage chopped
4 small green peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsps mustard seed
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
4 1/2 cups vinegar
Prepare 6-7 pint jars for use. Combine chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and mix thoroughly; let stand 3-4 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again thoroughly. Combine sugar, spices, horseradish and vinegar; simmer 15 minutes. Add vegetables and bring to a boil. Pack hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rim clean. Place lid on jar and screw tight. Process 10 min. in boiling water bath canner.
This recipe is from Macel Gay Monthye whose mother was Julia Gay and she included this note:
Victory gardens and home canning were prominent during World War II. It was “plant what you can and can what you plant.” Macel’s mom (Julia) hated to lose the end-of season tomatoes so she would make relish out of them. It went well with oven-fried chicken and mashed potatoes.