October 20, 2008

Mom's Zucchini Relish

Whenever I leave home there are some kitchen staples that I always have to take with me: maple syrup from the sugar bush down the street, Chatsworth Honey and Mom’s zucchini relish. The third item is what we’re going to focus on today. Mom’s zucchini relish is pretty much the only reason I eat hotdogs, (and even then, only if they’re bbq’d, don’t get me started on the disgustingness that is boiled hotdogs). I load up hotdogs with so much relish that they’re unrecognizable. Delicious.

I don’t eat hotdogs for just any relish though, it has to by my Mom’s. I try to make sure that I always have a back up jar in the cupboard because it’s a sad day when I go to retrieve the relish from the fridge and find that the jar has been scraped bare. If I’m at home I need only run downstairs to the fruit cellar where there’s usually a glorious stack of relish jars, begging to be popped open. If I’m away, I try to hold back the tears. A sad day indeed.

Quite frankly just seeing Mom’s relish in the fridge reminds me of home. Who would have thought a jar of relish could be comforting? It’s something I’ve grown up with though and I think most people have strong ties to items from their childhood. Sensory memories such as those associated with taste are particularly strong. Fortunately for me, I get to relive a little bit of my childhood on a regular basis as Mom’s zucchini relish can be made every year so I’ve got a constant supply. If you’d like a taste of my childhood, give this recipe a try. As with most canning recipes, this makes a big batch, but as it’s made with veggies fresh from the garden it’s got to be big to see you through to next year. Mom's recipe is handwritten in an old recipe book which is pretty to look at for its nostalgic value, but not so easy to read so I've copied it for you here.

Mom’s Zucchini Relish

5 zucchini

3 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded

8 green tomatoes, peeled and seeded

6 onions

3 sweet red peppers, seeded

3 apples and/or peaches, peeled and cored

1 small cabbage, cored

¼ cup pickling salt

6 cups cider vinegar

8 cups white sugar

2 T mustard seeds

1 T dry mustard

2 T celery seed

1 T turmeric

¾ cup flour with enough additional vinegar to make a smooth paste

Put first 7 ingredients into a food processor fitted with a shredding blade to grate. You’ll have to do this in stages and have a big bowl to put everything into.

Combine with pickling salt and allow to sit overnight. Drain well.

In a large pot combine the drained veg with the rest of the ingredients except for the flour and extra vinegar. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20-25 minutes.

Add the flour paste and boil for 5 minutes, until thick, stirring constantly.

While hot, pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Makes 8-9 pints.


Esi said...

Boiled hotdogs are just plain wrong. Zucchini in a relish could be good though.

Manggy said...

Aww, what a heartwarming sentiment :) Thanks for sharing-- and for sharing the recipe, hee :) (oh, I am so glad these have sugar. It's the only relish I can eat.)
I'm not as hotdog-prejudiced, but yeah, boiled wieners are inferior...

Michele said...

Your mother's zucchini relish beats my mother's hands down! My mother went through a stage where she put zucchini in everything....without much thought as to the outcome. So there were a lot of culinary disasters!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

It's precisely those foods in the fridge that make us feel connected to home. I remember opening my grandmother's fridge and finding all sorts of jars of things there -- and whenever I see those things, relishes and pickles, I think of her.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This sounds great! I am just afraid to can. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Irene said...

It's funny, my nostalgic memory is boiled hot dog with mashed potatoes! We didn't have relish where I grew up, so it was a totally new thing when I came to the US (and I freaking love it).

Maria said...

Family recipes are the best. This relish would for sure jazz up a hot dog!

Kelly-Jane said...

I think I'd love this relish. Family recipes are so special.

Deborah said...

I was never really a relish fan until the last few years. I bet it is amazing homemade and makes for the best hot dogs ever!

Anonymous said...

I'm the same way -hot dogs must be drowning in relish, and ketchup. I'd never heard of zucchini relish before but it looks delicious!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

I've never heard of zucchini relish before. but it makes sense! I wonder what other kinds of squashes could be used for relish.

Nic said...

Great ingredients, looks so colourful!

giz said...

I can't remember the last time I had a hot dog but dang, I would have one just to eat the relish. This one looks really interesting to me.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What an awesome mom you have. Making relish for you to take with you is so sweet. Love in a jar.

Unknown said...

My Mom makes relish just like that and it is great for all of the reasons that you mentioned!

Anonymous said...

Moms' recipes are always the best. Zucchini relish looks good!

FJKramer said...

I'm going to try this.
Sounds delicious.

Morven said...

This relish sounds delish - do you think I could do it with ripe tomatoes? We don't see green ones in NZ too often - maybe I need to grow my own.