Cucumber relish recipes of some kind should be included when you are canning food. Although a relish can be made with finely chopped vegetables, fruits or a combination, the basic and most common is made with cucumbers. In canning foods many vegetables such as pickles and peppers, vinegar is commonly used for pickling; this is the same with relish and various spices added for seasoning. The flavor can be sweet or savory, hot or mild but always well seasoned to add flavor to the food to which it is served with. The most popular of all the pickle relishes is the “All American hot dog relish” made with cucumbers and onions. Many of us would not think of eating a hotdog without this condiment; it makes them so delicious.
To me, cucumber onion relish recipes are the best and there is nothing like making it at home. The commercially made ones in the supermarkets cannot even come close to the flavor. In the commercial brands, you will find a couple different “classes” of these relishes. The one for hot dogs has a mustard base and the one for hamburgers has a tomato base. I love homemade cucumber relish on all meats especially sausage and other pork but I choose to make it without either mustard or tomato; I can always add that if I want. I just prefer the flavor of the pickled cucumbers and onions together.
When looking for relish recipes, also check out recipes under the names of chutneys, conserves, piccalilli and chow chow. These are all very similar to relish recipes made with a variety of ingredients; they often get their different names due to their home origination. Chutneys come from the South Asian cuisine, chow chow has its origination taking us to the Appalachian Mountains area in Southern United States, the combination of making two or more fruits into what we call preserves is what they use to call a conserve recipe and piccalilli is the old English version of a pickled relish. If you overlook some of these recipes because of the name that they are listed under, you may miss out on one of these very flavorful condiments.
Grind vegetables coarsely in a food chopper. Mix with salt in a large pan and let stand for one hour; Drain. In a large kettle, combine the turmeric, mustard seed, sugar and vinegar. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the vegetable mixture and stir well. Reduce heat and cook about fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Pack into hot sterile (4-6) pint jars and seal.
HOT DOG RELISH
Grind all vegetables with a coarse blade and sprinkle with the salt. Let set overnight. Rinse and drain very well. Combine the sugar, mustard seed, vinegar, celery seed, turmeric and water: mix well. Pour over the vegetable mixture and stir well. Heat until boiling; simmer for five minutes. Pack in hot sterile jars (8 pints) and seal tightly.
Another of the relish recipes to add to your canning recipes is the following corn relish. It is a favorite of many and is good just as an accompaniment to any meal.
Coarsely chop the cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, peppers and celery. Add to the corn in a large kettle and sprinkle with the salt; let set for ½ hour. Add the celery seed, mustard seed, flour, turmeric, vinegar and sugar. Stir to blend and bring to a boil. Cook about 45 minutes and pack into hot sterile jars and seal tightly.
CHOW CHOW RECIPE
Chow chow is considered one of the relish recipes because the vegetables are coarsely ground.
Grind tomatoes, peppers and onions using a coarse grinder.
Add remaining ingredients and cook until thick (about 2 hours); stir to prevent burning.
Pack in hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.
This piccalilli recipe is often referred to as one of the relish recipes because it uses ground vegetables.
Wash vegetables thoroughly; chop or coarsely grind tomatoes, red pepper, green peppers and onions.
Mix well with salt; cover and let stand overnight then drain.
Combine vinegar, sugar and spices tied in a cheesecloth bag; bring to a boil.
Add drained vegetables and heat again to boiling point; DO NOT BOIL.
Pack at once into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately.
APRICOT CHUTNEY RECIPE
Although chutneys are made with many fruits, many consider this apricot chutney recipe one of the relish recipes because the fruits are in small pieces.
Tie in a spice bag the cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and salt.
Make syrup in a large enamel pan combining the brown sugar and cider vinegar.
Bring mixture to a boil and add the fresh and candied fruits and the spice bag.
Make sure mixture is still at boiling point, then reduce to simmer and simmer for 1 hour.
Stir occasionally so mixture does not stick to bottom.
Can in hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.