One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Relishing the Relish

It was such a good feeling to be standing at the sink, chopping vegetables for homemade canned sweet pickle relish - the difference between patience and convenience.  Although some days convenience wins me over.

I need more patience.
And of course homemade relish is much healthier (no high fructose corn syrup, GMO-white vinegar, locust bean gum, or other not-good-for-you ingredients) than what you find in the store.  It's my ingredient for many dishes, making it a versatile canned good.  I use a hand chopper to make this, and this is the recipe I've been using over the years.

 1 quart chopped organic cucumber

2 cups chopped organic onions

 1 cup chopped organic carrots, and 1/4 cup pickling salt

Cover the ingredients with cold water.

Cover and let sit 2 hours.
This is where you go clean the chicken coop, check the garden, walk the dog, or other chores.  Or you could grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and "take 5" for yourself.

Drain well, and squeeze out excess water.

Fill a pot with 2 cups of organic apple cider vinegar, 3 cups of sugar, 1 Tbsp. celery seeds, and 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds.  Bring to a boil, add vegetables and boil 10 minutes.

Fill 4, sterilized, hot pint jars, and new lids, and use water bath method to can your jars.  Process 10 minutes.

Yield:  4 pints

Oh happy day!  

With the garden demise this year, it's more important for me to stick with versatile canned goods - the basics to create many meals.  I will miss my canned potatoes, and some other canned goods, like pizza sauce, but we are adapting.  I am still hoping (and praying) for a good supply of tomato sauce.  

It's hard to say just exactly what is the most important to can for a family our size, but I feel we must stick with the basics this year.  Oh, I cannot wait until our plum, peach, and apple trees produce.  We never seem to have enough fruit for winter storage.  At least I know we'll have enough jam/jelly for PB and J sandwiches.

Patience.  There's that word again.

What are your basic, versatile, canned goods for winter?


Mama Pea said...

I'm definitely saving this recipe to try! Thanks for sharing.

I freeze all my veggies which qualify as a BIG staple for us. But as far as canning goes, it's strawberry jam (for my strawberry lovin' hubby), applesauce that we use as a "dessert" all winter long, and both dill and bread and butter pickles.

Once we get a growing house (aka hoop house/greenhouse) or two going, I'm planning on getting back to canning my year's supply of tomato products.

Kristina said...

Mama Pea, I agree about applesauce too. I totally forgot about it. We are down to one pint. I better add that to my list.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Great recipe and so practical. I used to can a lot and make jam when my children were small.

Kristina said...

Linda, it's rather odd for me to be canning, as I grew up in the city and my Mom never canned or grew a vegetable garden. My grandparents did though.

Susan said...

Kristina, I did not come from a canning family, either. I just took to it like a fish to water. My staples are applesauce, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and zucchini relish. I also have a great recipe for mustard beans that I adore. I'm trying it with wax beans this year, as I have a lot of them. Every other year, I can corn. This is my corn-canning year. I am also going to try canning blueberry juice.

Kristina said...

Susan, mustard beans sound wonderful. I don't own a pressure canner (yet), but I'd love to hear how you make them.

RB said...

We don't do any canning, but we do have several month's worth of canned vegies in the cupboards. For us, our larder has always been filled with canned vegies more than fruits. Course that might be because I'm diabetic and can generally eat far more vegies than fruit too. But although I do like fruit, even as a child, I've always liked vegies more than fruit, except for fresh strawberries and peaches that is.
God bless.

Kristina said...

RB, I did freeze strawberries this year, but I have yet to call to order our blueberries. I hope I'm not too late.