I’ve been pickling again! If you had walked by my house this past week, you would have smelled the delicious aroma of vinegar and spices. When we were growing up my younger sister used to say, “Mom, I knew you were making relish as soon as I stepped off the bus!”
I love this time of year when all the fresh produce comes to market. I couldn’t resist buying up cucumbers, onions, peppers, zucchini, and cauliflower in anticipation of making our old family favourite…I’ve included it today in case you might like to try it.
Last weekend I made up 19 bottles of this relish, with my mom helping me, and it turned out beautifully. When dad came in later he spied the remaining produce on the counter and said,
“What are you going to do with the leftovers?”
My husband said the same when he came home from work. My mom and I laughed and good naturedly shot back,
“How come you noticed only the ‘leftovers’ and not all the bottles of relish we made?!”
Since then, I’ve made several bottles of zucchini relish and some mixed pickles. There’s still more ‘leftovers’ too, so I guess I’m not quite finished.
Whenever I get pickling I always think of Numbers 11:4-6, “The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’”
It didn’t take long before the Israelites forgot what great miracles God had performed on their behalf when He delivered them from their Egyptian oppressors. All they could remember was the good food they had left behind. They lost sight of the fact that God, in providing manna every day for them to eat in the desert, was still exercising His miraculous power as they journeyed toward the land He had promised them.
Am I so different? How often do I forget to thank Him for His provision each day? When was the last time I remembered to thank Him for acting miraculously on my behalf?
As we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, let’s remember to
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)
Until next time,
8 cups cucumbers (seeds/pulp removed), chopped fine – about 3-4 large cucumbers
4 cups onions, chopped fine
1 ½ sweet red peppers, chopped fine
1 head of celery (4 cups), chopped fine
*I used my food processor to do the fine chopping!
Combine above into large pickling kettle.
Add and mix well:
5 cups brown sugar
4 tsp. salt
4 cups white vinegar
3 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. turmeric
1 cup flour
Mix dry ingredients with 2 cups of vinegar in blender (or covered container) until well blended. If necessary, pour through strainer to remove any clumps of flour.
Add to vegetables along with remaining vinegar and stir well.
Sterilize jars in 275°F oven and keep hot until needed. Sterilize lids/screw tops in boiling water and keep hot until needed.
Cook slowly over low to medium heat, stirring very often to prevent sugar from caramelizing/burning on bottom of pan. Cook until sugar is well dissolved, liquid is clear, and vegetables are tender but still a little crisp.
Fill jars to within ½ inch of top being careful to wipe clean any drips from tops of jars. Seal immediately. When jar lids “pop” down in centre, they are sealed properly. Refrigerate any that do not.
May be stored in a cool, dry, and dark room for up to 1 year.
Yield: 8 (2 cup) Mason jars
Recipe can easily be halved or doubled/tripled.