I’m going to take a break from the usual “What I ate today” posts for the moment to talk about my adventures in canning.
I grew up on this stuff. It’s green tomato relish and it’s amazing. My mom used to make it every year. When I moved out, she kept me supplied with it. Although oddly enough, I have no memory of my mother actually making the relish. There would be a bunch of green tomatoes and peppers and then I’d leave to go to school or work or whatever and when I came home, there would be relish.
She no longer cans. It’s too much work for her.My brother and I had a few jars that I think we both doled out sparingly to the relish-worthy in our lives until finally there was no more.
About two years ago, she gave me the recipe and in a fit of hubris, I attempted to make jam, the green tomato relish, and sauerkraut–all on the same day. The relish got made. It was yummy, but I was so scarred by the experience that I didn’t want to make it again.
But my precious store was dwindling and I decided, well, maybe if I went into this with more humility and a lot of forethought, it might be okay.
And it was.
This is the scaled-down version of the recipe. It makes 6 pints or 12 half-pints. If you want the full-blown version which makes enough to feed the world, leave a comment.
2 qts. green tomatoes
3 green bell peppers
3 red bell peppers
1/4 qt. onions
3 cups of apple cider vinegar, divided
1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
2 ¼ tsp. celery seeds
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. allspice
Sterilize your jars and lids the way you normally do to do water-bath canning.
Wash the vegetables. I strongly recommend doing each vegetable by itself because this gets messy fast. Remove stem ends of the green tomatoes cut them into quarters. Seed the peppers and again quarter them. Peel and quarter onions.
Using a food processor (or if you are a masochist, you could blender chop this stuff), chop the vegetables finely. Drain the vegetables and discard the liquid (again probably do tomatoes first, then peppers, then onions).
Turn the vegetables into a large kettle or stockpot. Add 2 cups of the vinegar. Boil, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Drain everything and discard the liquid.
Put the drained vegetables back into the stockpot with the remaining 1 cup of vinegar, the sugar, and everything else. Simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.
Pack the relish immediately into the jars leaving about ¾ inch of headspace. Use the air pocket remover (looks like a plastic knife with a serrated edge) to make sure there are no air pockets. Seal, following the manufacturer’s directions. Process about 15 minutes in a hot-water bath.