Monday, August 27, 2007

How to Make Sweet Relish

If you grow your own veggies, then march to your garden and pick what you need. If you need to buy them, try to buy from a farmer's market or other location that sells fresh vegetables. The vegetables at the store tend to have a coat of wax on them and you don't peel the skin on the cucumbers for the relish. Let's try to avoid wax in our relish, shall we?

Before you begin, be sure to have all the canning tools you'll need ready.You will need a jar funnel, jar tongs, clean jars, lids and bands, a ladle, colander and several cooking pots. (I recycled the picture above from the jam instructions cuz I forgot to take a picture of the supplies and I already put everything away! You won't need a spatula or a masher.)

Here is what you need to make Sweet Relish: At least 8 cucumbers, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 2 medium onions, pickling salt, celery seed, mustard seed, apple cider vinegar and sugar. This will make 6-7 pints of relish.
Rinse all vegetables. Chop ends off the cucumbers and discard ends.
I use a nifty mandolin to slice my cucumbers into thin strips. You could do it by hand, I did before I bought the mandolin. I was doing a lot of chopping and slicing and dicing and so I bought this and use it practically every day! The mandolin slices up the cukes in no time, just watch out for the sharp blades. I have nicked my fingers plenty!
This is the result of the cucumber after a visit with the mandolin!
After I slice up the cucumber, I go through and pick out the skinny bits, the thin strips that's all skin with no "meat" on it. I think it keeps the relish chunky and gets rid of the stringy look. You don't have to do that, but I'm picky that way.
Dice up the strips with a large knife,
then drop them into a large bowl, big enough to hold all the chopped cukes, peppers and onions. Put aside and start chopping the other stuff.
Chop the onions. Add to the bowl of chopped cukes.
Chop red pepper and green pepper. Add to bowl of cukes and onions.

Isn't this pretty to look at? Press it all down evenly because you are about to add salt and cover in water.

Measure out 1/2 cup of salt.
Sprinkle salt all over the chopped veggies.
Pour cold water all over the salt, dissolving it and pour enough water to cover veggies completely. Let sit for 2 hours. Go watch TV, read some blogs, play with the kids.

Drain and rinse the salt off the veggies. Leave veggies in colander for a bit and let water completely drain away.
Measure out 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and pour into a large pot, stainless steel preferred. Get the big water canner started on the stove.


Add 1 tablespoon of celery seed.


Add 1 tablespoon of mustard seed.

Add 3 1/2 cups of sugar to vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves.

When vinegar / sugar mixture boils, add the drained chopped veggies. Stir and return to a boil. This will take about 10 minutes to boil and you don't need to constantly stir like you do with the jam. No tired arms here!

(Another recycled jam picture here) When veggie mixture begins to boil, turn off heat and ladle chopped veggies into hot jars with the funnel. Fill almost all the way to the top, wipe rim of jar clean, then top with hot lid, then tighten band over to seal.

Using the jar tongs, lift jar and put into the hot water canner. (yes, another recycled picture) Cover with lid and boil for 10 minutes.

When 10 minutes are up, carefully remove lid, then use jar tongs to lift each jar to an area where they can cool overnight. Cover jars with a towel to prevent them from cooling too fast. In the morning, press the top of each jar and make sure the vacuum seal worked. If the lid pops up and down, boil again in the hot water canner for another 10 minutes, or put in the fridge and eat it up!

Here are 2 of the many jars I canned. Don't they look lovely? They go quickly so make extra for your family and some for gifts.

The relish tastes great on hot dogs, mixed into tuna fish sandwiches, potato salads... Hubby likes it on his hot dogs with nothing else.


See? I had to tell him to slow down so I could snap a picture! It was gone in 2 bites!

54 comments:

Lisa C. said...

Put your hubby into some hot dog eating contests and you will make money!!

Funky Finds said...

omg, this looks so yummy! thanks for stopping by funky finds. now i'm hungry! :)

tania said...

thanks for visiting my blog, through the Freckled Nest contest. i have enjoyed reading your blog this morning - and love the tutorial on relish - i used to can alot, not so much anymore - i kinda miss it now that i have seen your photos

Lacy H. said...

Jenny...thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my pics! I love that you photo chronicled how to make relish. I seriously just might try it out! You rock. :)

aminah said...

brilliant!!! That was soo easy to follow that maybe i might even manage it!!

jenny said...

Lisa-- LOL! He may eat fast, but he can't eat 50!

Funky-- Welcome! Pull up a chair and I'll fix you a hotdog and relish! :o)

Tania-- Welcome! I enjoy canning and I look for excuses to can! I go through my canning recipes looking for something new to try! Can't beat the freshness factor!

Lacy-- Welcome! It's really easy. The hardest part is doing all the chopping, but once you get your rhythm going, it goes quickly. I have a routine now so it doesn't take me as long as the first time I tried it. Go ahead, give it a try!

Aminah-- Welcome! You really can do it, it's easy, I promise it is!

DJ Kirkby said...

Yay!!!!! Thank you! Must find some place that sells something resembling mason jars and then I am going to get started!

Lizzie said...

I came to see your sweet relish recipe at DJ's suggestion. It looks terrific, I shall definitely have a go. Feel free to check out my own ideas of bottling, jam & jelly making and chutneys.

Lizzie

Lecia said...

I am making the relish for the first time today. It's soaking in salt at the moment. I can't wait until it's finished. It looks delicious!

Clayton said...

Thanks for the recipe. It looks delicious. I did change it a little, as we had some jalepenos that needed a place to chill. So, we'll see what that tastes like some time soon. I pulled the jars out of the canner about an hour ago.

Dr.Akmal said...

thank you for sharing the knowledge!

Anonymous said...

I really loved the way you presented this recipe. I haven't tried it yet, and may add jalapenos to it. But, when I got to the last picture of it being eaten enthusiastically, well, I knew I found the right recipe for me. THanks for sharing. You should consider writing a cook book in this style, people would love it.

Anonymous said...

I just finished making my first batch! I haven't tasted it yet but had one question. does the liquid thicken as it cools? seems less thick than store bought relish's. was very easy to make!

jenny said...

Anonymous-- SO glad my posting helped to inspire you to make your own!! It may thicken just a little bit as it cools, the sugar gelling a little bit, but otherwise it stays kind of liquid-y. Store-bought relishes add corn starch to their recipe which thickens it, but it's an unnecessary ingredient and not mentioned in any of the many recipes I looked at before settling on the one I posted about.

tmmikko said...

Hi Jenny , Just started using your relish recipe. It was just great . I will be using for years to come.
Thanks Tom from Maine.
I wish your page had a printable version. I had to write it out by hand.
But It's just awsome !!!

Nick said...

Cheers for the recipe! Had this on my favourites for a couple of weeks now - finally making it today, although with some ingredient changes! (lots of red onion, not so much cucumber) It's sitting in the cold water at the moment. Looking forward to it!

scott neff said...

I'm going to try your recipe. It looks awesome. Great blog, BTW!

Scott Neff
Minneapolis, MN

Joyce said...

Hello Jenny,
I have been searching for sweet pickle recipes since my wonderful neighbor has been giving me cucumbers! Finally, I saw your recipe for the relish and thought that I would use more relish than pickles so I am going to try it! Can't wait! It looks delicious! I also love that you chronicled your recipe with pictures. Makes it less confusing for the beginner!

1fixitchick said...

Jenny, I was just wondering if you have ever tried this recipe using zucchini? It's tempting but I wanted to ask you before I tried it! Thanks. Joyce

Lena said...

Jenny, Thanks for the recipe. I have been making bread and butter for years, but never tried relish (kind of dumb since we use so much). I have made the B&B for this year and still have cucumbers. Now, on to relish thanks to your easy recipe.

1fixitchick said...

Lena,
I am not Jenny but I just read your post and wanted to comment. This relish is the best!!! I have canned about 20 quarts and 30 pints this summer! I have given it to friends and we have used it in tuna salad. I also made it with zucchini and it turned out great!!! Glad you still have cucumbers, ours are done for the year! After I first made this relish, I knew I was hooked and kept making it until I couldn't find any more cucumbers! If you follow Jenny's recipe to the T it will yield 7 pints. I'm betting that you will wish you had made this BEFORE the B&B's!!!
Joyce

jenny said...

tmmikko-- I'm pleased you like the recipe.. I wish I was more computer savvy and I could make my recipes in printable format. I'll look into that for when I post future recipes.

Nick-- yum! Red onions!! I bet it turned out just great!

Scott-- Have you tried the recipe yet?? :o)


Joyce-- I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my family does. Neighbors with garden surplus are extra special aren't they?! Lucky you!

jenny said...

1fixitchick-- I've never tried it with zucchini, and I admit, probably never will. Zucchini is one of those poor vegetables that my hubby and kids don't seem to like, except for when I hide it in zucchini bread. If you try it inthe relish, do let me know how it comes out! :o)

Lena-- I used to make all sorts of pickles, but I discovered the relish goes the fastest, so I no longer make pickles anymore. I think it's a little easier to make relish anyway, despite all the chopping one needs to do. :o)

1fixitchick-- WOW!! I'm impressed with all the relish you've canned already!! It's really good, isn't it?? I'll never go back to store-bought relish ever again! I'm glad it turned out great with the zucchini-- thanks for posting that and hopefully others who want to know will see your comment. Thanks for returning letting me know! :o)

1fixitchick said...

Morning Jenny,
When I used zucchini I mixed it with crook-neck squash. It tastes just like the cucumber recipe!!! I did scoop out the seeds first...but we were pleasantly surprised at the outcome! Now Jenny, I have a 'thank you recipe' I want you to try. PLEASE keep an open mind and make one batch before you chuck it okay? You will never believe how wonderful this jam is!
6 cups peeled and grated zucchini
4 cups sugar
1 cup crushed pineapple, with the juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 oz. package raspberry Jello.
Put the zucchini in a large pot but don't add any water. Cook it on low heat and as the zucchini cooks it will water itself and as it does, you can turn up the heat safely. Cook until it has a marmalade texture. Add the sugar, pineapple and lemon juice and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Jello powder. Seal in hot jars and let cool. No water bath needed!
I have made this for many years and if I don't tell people it's made with zucchini, they think it has oranges and lemons in it!!!
I have made it with orange Jello and lime Jello too! Let me know what you and the kids think after you try it okay?

Anonymous said...

Do you know? I would love to know if you ever tried Splenda in your canning? I use it in baking successfully.

I might try it. Will let you know.

Anonymous said...

I have never made relish before and this was the first link I clicked on... I am not looking any further. It sounds delicious and you are an excellent writer.. Your post made me smile and really want to continue reading and try your recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)

Chuck

jenny said...

Anonymous June 18, 2012-- I don't use any kinds of sugar substitutes, but I imagine you could use Splenda without any trouble. Let me know how it turned out.

Chuck-- You won't be sorry for stopping here and not looking any further! :o) It's really great relish and I'm disappointed my cukes didn't do well in the garden this year. Looks like I'll have to go to the farmer's market for cukes this summer! Hope you like it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I found your blog about a month ago when searching for a good sweet relish recipe and this is a hit with my family. I'd like to return the favour by giving you a heads up re a great website called mennonite girls can cook. Just google that phrase & you'll find it. I'm not mennonite but their recipes are tried & true. The sweet red pepper jelly is to die for with cream cheese on crackers - esp as a handy Christmas appetizer. Thank you once again for your hard work & your recipes. I tried the tator tot surprise last week and it disappeared asap. Cheers from Ontario, Canada!

jenny said...

Ontario, Canada-- I'm so glad you like the relish recipe! Thanks for sharing the website info with me! I have a mennonite friend that shared her family cookbook with me and every single recipe I've tried is so yummy, that I can imagine recipes from Mennonite girls can cook is just as tasty. That Donut Muffin recipe looks good! Come back soon! :o)

Unknown said...

I really like your format. Thanks for doing that. I now have the courage to can something different!

Marilynn

Unknown said...

Thanks for making this recipe so easy to follow. I love your format.

Now I have the courage do make this relish!

Bren said...

mines in canner...tried a taste..before...total love.....u rock....never want store bought again

jenny said...

Bren-- Isn't it great?!? I'm about to make some tomorrow!! Just got everything I needed. Can't wait! :o)

Bren said...

mine is sitting here tempting me..it made six wide mouth jars....can I eat it..? or does it have 2 sit for awhile? want hot dogs 2morrow night...

Bren said...

mines been out cooling..looks so good..when can we eat it? love how u step by step..not a novice on canning .. never did relish....fantabulous

Mrs. Eagan said...

Did you use slicing cukes or pickling cukes with this? I have both but I would love to use slicing cukes as I have too many! Please advise

Bren said...

Jenny ..do u have a canned sweet potato recipe ..? I would like 2 one canned sweet..one canned not..

jenny said...

Bren, you could eat it after it's been chilled, but the longer you wait, the longer it has had to sit and let those flavors really meld together. I find that at least 2 weeks of waiting time is the best, but I have eaten it within days myself and it's just so good! :o)

I've never canned sweet potato before, I can look it up for you if you like and post the recipe if I find one.

jenny said...

Mrs. Eagan-- You can use either one, just make sure the slicing cukes aren't too big and they lose that sweetness and get too seedy. I usually use slicing cukes myself and save the smaller pickling cukes for pickles. Hope that helps!

Bren said...

the taste I took before Jar...waiting 2 weeks....I'm going to have to hide them from myself...lol...If u could find sweet potato recipe it would be appreciated...I have a bushel...

Anonymous said...

Searched for a relish recipe and found gold!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing, just one question, I've already canned all my cukes, can I use my sweet pickles and prepare the rest of the recipe?

Thanks!!
Heather

jenny said...

Heather-- I don't see why not. Bet it will taste even yummier with those sweet pickles! Try it and let me know how it went! :o)

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Thanks Jenny, I will let you know how it goes!!

chas from ny said...

I just made this relish the other day and I must say it is SLAMMING!!(I made 24 jars)It is very simple to make. Thanks for the recipe!!
Would love to know what other recipes u have??

jenny said...

Chas-- So glad you like it!! We're big fans of it!! If you want to see other recipes, I have more listed in my Recipes list on the right sidebar. :o)

Leslie said...

Hi there,I just made these the other day I found it to be easy thanks for the recipe it is very good, I am on my second batch but I did add some hot banana peppers , thanks again. P.S. If my husband Ever brings Home 3 large boxes of cucumbers again I will shove them down his throat. I will definitely recommend this recipe to people who can. Thank you again have a great day.

Anonymous said...

The relish looks great! I was trying to find something to do with the left over cucumbers i got from the farmers market before they went bad. How long will the relish last once canned? Also, will i need to keep all the bottles in the refrigerator or just once opened?

Anonymous said...

Oh man this is good. I have a big garden this year so I tried it. I put some on a hot dog. Great! I then ate the rest of the jar like it was dip on my chips. I am hearing the lids pop on my second batch now!

Anonymous said...

This was a really easy recipe to follow. I can't wait to try the relish (but I will wait two weeks to let the flavors settle as you suggested). Thanks!

Scott W kelley said...

I have some extra sweet pickle brine along with some larger cukes and peppers. This recipe sounds awesome as my brine has all the same ingredients all I have to do is chop, boil and pack...yahoo. I am looking forward to trying this relish.

Scott W kelley said...

Trying this with my extra sweet pickle brine. All I have to do is chop, boil, pack, seal and wait two weeks...lol

Miskinladi said...

I Just found your recipe and it sounds delicious. I have never done relishes and was wondering if I could use 1 cup less sugar without disturbing the balances? Being diabetic I need lower sugar recipes and I do not use fake sugars. I do use honey and date sugar though.What do you think?

Thanks
Bev

jenny said...

Anonymous Feb 12, 2013-- I'm sorry I didn't get back to your question right away!! If you haven't figured it out already, once canned, you do not need to keep in the fridge. Only after opening, do you need to keep refrigerated. They keep indefinitely in the fridge, but I'd be very surprised if they lasted very long once opened!

Anonymous Aug 4, 2013-- That relish sure is good!!! Glad you liked it and worked out for you!

Anonymous Aug 11, 2013-- Hope you can wait that long!!

jenny said...

Scott W Kelley-- Sounds like a winner to me!! I love being able to reuse leftovers for something else, and I imagine the relish will come out fantastic!! Thanks for checking out my recipe!

Miskinladi-- I think using one cup less of sugar would be alright. It would still be sweet but maybe a touch more tart than if you were to use the full amount of sugar called for. Give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out.