Its finally been getting hot enough around here for the garden to kick it into high gear and start producing some goodies for us. The tomatoes plants are full of green tomatoes waiting to turn red, the zucchini is starting to go crazy, and if I dug a little I would get some yummy new potatoes, carrots, and onions.
It's time to start reaping what we have sown. I'm super excited because this year I planted eight tomatoes plants in hopes of getting a decent crop so that I can preserve some tomatoes so I won't have to buy too many at the store for soups and such this winter. I also planted an extra zucchini plant this year so that I can get enough to make some homemade relish. If you haven't had homemade relish you have no idea what you're missing out on! Usually my MIL is kind enough to send over a few extra jars from her kitchen, but this year I decided that I would give it a go for myself and see what happens. I'm starting off by making a sweet relish and when the next batch of zucchini comes in, I'll make the dill relish, which is my favorite!
1qt. chopped cucumber (I used zucchini)
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped sweet green pepper
1 c. chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 c. salt
3 1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. mustard seed
2 c. cider vinegar
Combine cucumbers, onions, and peppers in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine sugar, spices, and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add drained vegetables; simmer 10 minutes. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Remove air bubbles. Place lid and ring on jar. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
* Do this on a day when you can open the windows. The vinegar is a pretty potent smell, especially when its cooking.
*Start the hot water canner early to get the water up to a boil so that its ready to go when the jars have been packed and have lids on them. This is my first time using my new hot water canner so it was kind of an experiment. I had added hot water to it, but it needs a while to build up a boil from there.