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Once again I’m reaching into Preserving by Oded Schwartz (Dorling Kindersley, 1996). What an amazing and wonderful book. Mostly I wanted to remember how I did this, where I got the recipe. I haven’t tried these yet, but I did can three pints. They look good.

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So I heard a local radio guy go on a rant about what a dirty trick it was to use dill pickle relish instead of sweet pickle relish in potato salad and/or tuna salad. I have to say that I agree with him. I never expect that sour pickle flavor in those dishes. His rant was on my mind the entire time I was making this dill pickle relish. I had so much cucumber though, what else could I do! I won’t be using it in potato salad or tuna salad, that’s for sure. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Here is the recipe just in case I come up with some fantastical use for it this winter and need to do it again next fall.

The recipe comes from cottageatthecrossroads.com. I made half of her recipe and it was four pints. I used half-pint jars. It was very simple to make. Here is how I did it.

DillPickleRelish

Ingredients:

4 lbs. cucumbers, chopped
1/4 cup canning/pickling salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups onions, chopped
1/4 cup (SCANT) sugar
1 Tbsp. dill seeds
2 cups white vinegar

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, working in batches, finely chop the cucumbers, transferring them to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric and mix with hands. Add water, cover, and let stand for 2 hours. Drain through a XXX and rinse with cool water. Fill the glass bowl with water and place the cucumber in it again, then drain through the XXX again. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can.

Prepare your canner, jars, and lids.

Process the onions in the food processor so that they are finely chopped, like the cucumber. Place them into a large pot. Stir in the cucumber, sugar, dill seeds, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick and vegetables are heated through, about 10 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch of head space. Run a table knife around the jars to remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot relish. Wipe the jar rims and screw lids onto jars.

Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes four pints.

 

GreenTomatoSalsaVerde

So, this is now my favorite green tomato recipe. I found it at MontanaHomesteader.com. I was making so many pickle-type things yesterday, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

This recipe makes about three pints. I water-bath canned two pints and then used the remainder for dinner. I had some leftover Cuban-style pork roast, so I layered a few corn tortillas, salsa verde, meat, and cheese. Then another layer of tortillas, salsa verde, and cheese. Baked for 35 minutes and delish!!

Ingredients:

7 cups green tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, chopped
2 cups onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tsp. salt

In batches, run the green tomatoes through a food processor fitted with the S-blade so that it’s very small pieces. Be careful not to over-process into mush. Place green tomatoes into a very large pan. Now run the jalapeño peppers, onion and garlic through the food processor and add to the pan. Stir in lime juice. Bring to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes. Stir in cilantro and salt. Remove from heat.

Ladle it into pint jars, top with lids, and water-bath process for ten minutes. Voila!

Gueritos6

I had something approximating this at a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs a few years ago. I came up with my own way to make them, without using rice as a filler. There is no set recipe, just a description. They are a super-delicious snack.

On this day I used six yellow chiles, (these are no longer than your index finger and very mild), 3/4 lb. of raw shrimp (any size), grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar). That’s it for ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the “core” of the chiles, then cut a slit down each chile, and remove the seeds. This is the most tricky part of the whole process.

Gueritos

Make a shrimp paste using about 2/3 of the shrimp. I use a small food processor. Hand-chop a few more of the shrimp into pieces and stir the pieces into the shrimp paste. Then stir in grated cheese.

Gueritos1

Use a teaspoon as a tool to stuff each chile.

Gueritos3

Place stuffed chiles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Gueritos5I don’t add any dips when serving mine, but I’ve heard that soy sauce or mayonnaise can be used to dip your gueritos in.

CucumberMintJam1I have a glut of cucumbers and we can only eat so many pickles. Since I do prepare lamb chops pretty frequently, this jam may be a good accompaniment to that and other meats. It also would taste amazing with cream cheese or brie on salty crackers. Oh, yeah!

I started with a recipe found at Homespun Seasonal Living, but then branched way off to do my own thing.

I am not a canning expert. Please remember that as I tell you how I did this. I have made a lot of jams and jellies in my life. This is how I do it, right or wrong.

Ingredients:

6 cups cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and rough chopped
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 envelope of Certo liquid pectin
Few drops of green food coloring, if necessary
4-5 Tbsp. finely sliced fresh mint leaves

Run the cucumbers through a food processor using the S-Blade, just a few pulses should do. Don’t make your cucumber pieces too small. Place the processed cucumbers into a large pan. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar.

Sterilize 8 half-pint jars. Heat lids in water. Cut open the envelope of Certo and place the envelope upright in one of the jars for easy access when needed. Get a ladle ready, as well as your canning funnel if you have one.

All set up? Okay, heat the cucumber mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Let it boil for one minute. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the Certo. Continue stirring while you quickly add green food coloring, if needed, and the mint.

Ladle the jam into the jars. Remove the lids from hot water. Wipe off the jar rims and screw the lids on tightly. Invert the jars. Let them sit upside down for at least 30 minutes. Shake the jars around over the course of the next few hours, every so often, to try and get the pieces evenly distributed throughout the jars.

Notes: I found that there was no foam, so this did not require skimming. Easy! I used lemon cucumbers for 2/3 of the cucumbers and regular green cucumbers for the other third. I didn’t realize the color would matter as much as it did, so I added green food coloring at the end. It’s really nice looking. I used a mix of half-pint and quarter-pint jars. This didn’t set well until the next day. Be patient. And I had a few tablespoons extra, so I’ve tasted it and deem it GOOD! It was great with brie!

CucumberMintJam2

 

My cucumbers are humongously fat so I thought it would be nice to make these dill chips layered carefully into pint jars (makes 6 pints). They are pretty. The recipe is based upon one found at CookingBride.com. She says it will take about 3 weeks before they’re ready to eat. Maybe I can wait. Maybe.

DillPickleChips1

2 Tbsp. canning salt
3 cups water
4 lbs cucumbers, sliced into 1/4" slices crosswise

In a very large non-corrosive bowl, mix together salt and water until salt has dissolved. I used my 32-cup Tupperware bowl. Add the cucumbers and stir around gently with your hands until all has been coated with salt water. Let stand 2-3 hours.

Drain cucumbers and rinse with fresh, cold water. I rinsed my big bowl, added cold water and put the cucumbers into it for a few minutes, then drained it again. Let stand until called for.

2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. canning salt
6 tsp. dill SEED
6 tsp. minced garlic
6 tsp. DRIED minced onion
2 tsp. dried chili flakes

In a large saucepan add vinegars, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, add 1tsp. dill seed, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. dried minced onion, and a pinch of dried chili flakes to each of 6 sterile pint jars.

Ladle a bit of hot brine into each jar. Start layering the cucumber slices into the jars, adding brine once in awhile so the slices do not stick together. Once all the cucumbers are used up, distribute the remaining brine. Run a knife around gently and tap the jars so as to get the bubbles out and use up as much brine as possible. Make sure to leave 1/2″ head space at the top of the jars. Screw hot lids onto the jars. I shook the jars around to get the spices distributed.

Place the jars in a boiling water bath for about 20 minutes of processing.

DillPickleChips2

 

SweetChiliSauceToo many cucumbers! This one looked good, not sure it’s going to withstand the canning process, but . . . too many cucumbers!

I started with a recipe from Many Grandmas. My cucumbers were so big it was difficult to slice them into strips as indicated in her recipe, but I went for it anyway. Here is how I did the recipe.

2 very large cucumbers
1 very large carrot
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then lay the cut side down on the cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the cucumber down into very thin slices.

Peel the carrots and then use a lemon zester to score the length of the carrots several times. Slice the carrots cross-wise. The scoring will make them into a pretty flower shape.

Put the cucumbers and carrots into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix gently, but well. Let stand for 30 minutes or so. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Let stand.

In a saucepan mix vinegar, water, sugar, and sweet chili sauce. Heat to boiling.

Sprinkle the minced garlic into two pint jars. Divide the vegetables into the jars and pour hot brine over all, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Screw lids onto the tops of the jars and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove.

In case you don’t know what sweet chili sauce is . . .

AsianPickles1

Pickled-Eggs-w-Beets1

I had never cooked fresh beets before last year, so I really didn’t realize what I was missing. It’s been a revelation. This recipe is sort of thrown together, so take it for what it’s worth.

Scrub beets well, try not to pierce them. I snap off the long root. Wrap tightly in foil and bake at 350 degrees for an hour for tennis-ball sized beets, maybe longer if you have extremely humongous beets like I did. I baked mine for 1-1/2 hours. Last year I put my foil-wrapped beats on one of my oven-safe dinner plates. It ruined the plate. This year I laid a piece of foil across a metal pie pan and then put the foil-wrapped beets in the pan. I was trying to protect my cookware and it worked. No problem. Let beets cool until they’re not too hot to touch. Peel the beets. It’s easy, the skins slide off. Slice one beet into about 1/2-inch slices, not thin. You probably won’t need more than one beet.

In the meantime, boil 4 eggs to hard-cooked. I put my eggs in cold water and bring to a boil, let boil 5 minutes, then let them sit in the water until it cools and I’m ready to use. I don’t think it matters how you do this. Peel the eggs.

Make a mixture of 2/3 cup vinegar (I used cider vinegar) to 1/3 cup water and a sprinkle of salt. This mixture does not have to be precise. You may need more.

In a clean quart jar, pour a little vinegar mixture. Drop in a few beet slices. Drop in a boiled egg. Add vinegar mixture to cover. Drop in more beet slices, another egg, more vinegar mix . . . layer until you reach the top of the jar. Cover the jar with a lid.

Refrigerate for three days, you can shake the jar around a little bit every day or so. These pickles are so yummy. The eggs are quite beautiful when sliced. They taste great and so do the pickled beets.

Pickled-Eggs-Sliced

IMG_3333This recipe is found at GeniusKitchen.com. I really love this relish. It’s not that hard to make and we use it to make tuna salad and potato salad. It’s good on hot dogs, too.

In the picture above, note that I used the nearest third to make the relish. I ended up with four half-pints, so I’ll probably make more tomorrow. I don’t think four half-pints will be enough for the coming year.

The ingredients:

4 cups chopped green tomatoes

1 large sweet onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped (red is prettiest)

2 Tbsp. canning salt

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. mustard seed

1 tsp. celery seed

4 whole cloves

1 cup vinegar (I used cider vinegar)

IMG_3334 I start by rough chopping 4 cups of green tomatoes, a large sweet onion, and a large bell pepper.

IMG_3337Then I put the tomatoes, onion, and pepper into a food processor. I carefully pulse the processor until the vegetables are chopped small, but not pureed. It’s tricky and you have to be careful. I put the vegetables into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Let it sit for an hour and then drain through a fine strainer.

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Put four cloves into a spice bag. I used a disposable tea bag. In a large pot, stir together the drained vegetables, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, and the spice bag. Stir in the vinegar. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bag of cloves. Ladle into 1/2 pint canning jars. Leave 1/2-inch of head space. Screw the lids on tightly. Process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

IMG_3343So, here’s how I did the hot water bath processing . . . I’ve got a massive 7-quart pressure cooker, but that thing is too much of a beast to can only 4 half-pint jars. Instead, I put my metal steamer basket in the bottom of my largest stock pot and filled the pot with water, nearly to the top. I brought the water to a boil while the relish was simmering. I also had my tea kettle over a flame for more hot water as needed. Once the water in the pot was at a full boil, and the relish had been put into the jars and sealed, I placed each jar carefully into the boiling water and and made sure they were covered with boiling water from the kettle. Once the water came back to a boil, I set the timer for ten minutes. The trick is the metal steamer basket. I’ve tried water bath canning without a rack in the bottom of the pot and ended up with broken jars and a big mess. My metal steamer basket allows the boiling water to bubble without rocking the jars. Different shape jars and sizes pots and steamer baskets would suggest that you make sure it will all fit as necessary before beginning the process. Please consult a canning expert if you have never done any home canning before. I am certainly not an expert.

Note to self: ran out of cider vinegar and made a second batch using white-wine vinegar. It is marked #2 on the lids. See what you think.

The recipe is found at myfrugaladventures.com. These are really crunchy and delicious!

IMG_3339Bring to a boil 3-1/2 cups water and 1-1/4 cups vinegar. I used cider vinegar. Add 1 Tbsp. canning salt. Remove from heat and let cool.

Slice cucumbers into your preferred shape: spears, chips, or leave whole. They aren’t pictured, but I have used lemon cucumbers as well. The type of cucumber does not seem to matter. They’re all good! Make sure the entire cucumber will fit beneath the liquid. Pack sterile jars with cucumbers. Add garlic cloves, dried red peppers, and fresh dill to each jar.

Pour cooled vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in each jar. Makes a couple quarts (I use 2 pint jars and 1 quart jar). Screw on lids, use any type. Place into refrigerator. Shake the jars around a bit occasionally. Good to eat 24 hours later, best to eat after three days, should last a few weeks if they are kept refrigerated.

We were eating these quickly and we had so many cucumbers that I left the brine in the jar and filled the jar with cukes again. It worked fine. I wouldn’t do that more than once, because you would probably want more vinegar and salt, so you may as well start at the beginning.

REfrigerator-Dills