Friday, September 13, 2013

Homemade Cucumber Relish

One thing I've learned over the years is that when the cucumbers get too big, it is time to make relish.  When I am working my three twelve hour shifts in a row, it is difficult to get out to the garden for a few days.  Meanwhile, the cucumbers keep growing! 

I've been making my own relish for years, and it is one thing my family always requests when we cook hot dogs over the bonfire.  Well, cucumber relish and smores.  But that is another post.

So, we start with cucumbers that are a bit too big for pickles but not all bloated and yellow.  The super large yellow cucumbers tend to be bitter.      

To start the relish, I take my large pickling cucumbers, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.  I don't peel them, since I think the peels 1) add a bit of extra nutrients and 2) make the relish more crispy.

The easiest way I have found to mince the vegetables is to pulse them in the food processor.  SO EASY. 

I picked a bunch of miscellaneous peppers from the garden to add to the relish.  I make sure to get some red peppers in there, too. 

Then, the minced cucumbers, onions and mixed peppers are put in a large bowl and sprinkled with turmeric. 

Then, the whole mixture is soaked in salt water for 3-4 hours. 

Just a couple more steps and voila!  homemade canned cucumber relish. 

Cucumber Relish

  • 2 quarts chopped cucumbers (about 8 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped misc. sweet peppers (make sure you get red in there)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
Combine vegetables in a large bowl; sprinkle with turmeric.  Dissolve salt in 2 quarts of cold water and pour over vegetables.  Let stand 3 to 4 hours.  Drain, cover vegetables with cold water and let stand 1 hour.  Drain thoroughly.  Combine sugar and vinegar in a large sauce pan.  Tie spices in a spice bag, add to sugar mixture.  Bring to a boil, pour over vegetables.  Cover; let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place.  Bring vegetables to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until hot.  Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.  Makes about 6 pints.

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