More Relishes

Ours is a family that loves relishes. There are so many recipes it amazes me. The first one is from Aunt Bonnie (below left). She is Dad’s older sister and was married to Uncle Custy(below right). Uncle Custy, whose real name was Constantine, was Italian and a great mushroom-hunter. He would take us out in the woods and he knew all the mushrooms. We would come back with a bushel basket full of delicious mushrooms. Our favorite was a type that grew in big clumps on long, slender stems with caps that came down over the stem. Mom would wash them and fry them up in butter with garlic and serve them on toast. They were incredible --- so much more flavor than commercial mushrooms! Their daughter Jean has many recipes in the cookbook but we’ll add those later.

Aunt Bonnie’s Chili Sauce
Scald and peel 25 large, red tomatoes. Chop them fine and add:
6 medium chopped onions
3 chopped green peppers
3 cups vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 1/3 tblsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp each ginger, cloves and allspice.
Simmer until very thick. Ladle into sterile jars and process 5 minutes.

Mom’s Fruit Relish

Peel and dice:
20 ripe tomatoes
8 very firm pears
8 firm but ripe peaches
6 large onions
1 red and 1 green pepper
Place in a large kettle and add:
4 cups white sugar
1 quart vinegar
2 tblsp salt
Spice bag containing whole cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon stick pieces and allspice to make about 2 tblsp.
Slowly bring to a boil and boil until very thick and not at all watery — about 2 hours stirring regularly.
Ladle into sterile jars and process for 10 minutes.

Dad’s Tomato Marmalade
This is excellent with any meat. If you mix equal parts of this and hearty mustard it makes a great glaze for roasts.
Peel 3 oranges and 2 lemons. Cut the peelings into very fine slivers. Combine with 2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.
Remove all pulp from the fruit and add it to the peelings. Blanch and peel 5 ½ pounds of tomatoes and slice.
Combine all ingredients in a kettle and mix lightly. Add a spice bag containing 5 cinnamon sticks and 1 tblsp cloves. Add 6 cups sugar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until thick and clear. Ladle into sterile jars and seal. Process 15 minutes.

Pauline’s Green Tomato Relish
Pauline lived next door. She and Specky had three kids, Kathy, Mike and Mary Ellen. Pauline was a good neighbor, a good friend and a great blackberry picking partner. This recipe is a great way to use up green tomatoes when the season is coming to an end.
Clean and cut into manageable pieces 5 ponds of green tomatoes. Pack them into sterile jars and to each jar add 1 clove of garlic, a few slices of onion, 1 whole clove and 3-4 dill heads. Place in a large pan:
1 quart of vinegar
1 quart of water
1/3 cup salt
sugar as desired
Simmer for five minutes then pour into the jars over the tomatoes. Seal and process for 20 minutes. These are really delicious!!!

Mrs. Lemmon’s Fruited Mincemeat
When I lived in Erie, PA and worked at the diner that served as the model for the Canal Street Diner in The Old Mermaid’s Tale, Mrs. Lemmon was my neighbor. This is her recipe.
Grate the peel and remove the pulp from 3 large oranges.
Peel and chop 6 apples.
Mix with 1 cup each raisins, dried peaches and dried apricots, chopped
1 cup chopped suet
½ cup finely cut citron
1 cup grated carrots
2 tblsp cinnamon
1 tblsp mace
½ tblsp ginger
½ tblsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups light molasses
1 cup boiled cider
1 cup rum
1 cup brandy
Mix thoroughly and place in a container with a tight seal. Store in a cool place for at least a month before serving.

Mom’s Zucchini Relish
Mom always joked that St. Marys was the kind of town that, when you went down town in the fall, you’d better lock your car doors. Otherwise people would put zucchini in it. This is a good recipe for using up zucchini.
10 c. grated zucchini
4 c. diced onions
2 tblsp salt.
Put this in a colander int the sink and let it stand overnight. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Add:
2 1/4 cup vinegar
2 ½ cup sugar
1 tblsp corn starch
1 tsp each nutmeg, dry mustard, turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 each red and green pepper chopped fine
Simmer in a large kettle until very thick. Ladle into sterile jars and seal.

Colorful Pear Relish
Both Gram and Jack (below right with Dad and I in 1951) had huge pear trees in their yards. I LOVED making this and would can it in quart jars because it was so delicious it never lasted long. Gram even liked to spoon it over cottage cheese.
Put through a food chopper:

12-18 very firm pears
6 sweet onion
4 green peppers
4 red peppers
1 hot red pepper
Heat together:
1 pint cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tblsp salt
1 tsp. Cimmanon
½ tsp each cloves, nutmeg and ginger
Add the pear mixture and slowly bring to a boil. Watch it carefully because it will seem very moist but will thicken up fast. Simmer until thick. Ladle into sterile jars and process 20 minutes.

Mom’s Pizza Sauce
This is fabulous. It is thick, spicy and delicious and can be used in lots of ways.
Cook and strain 8 quarts of peeled and chopped tomatoes. Add 4 cloves of garlic. In a kettle put 1 cup of olive oil and add 3 cups chopped onion, 2 chopped green peppers, 1-2 chopped red peppers. Add tomatoes.
Saute until soft them put through a food mill. Add:
1 ½ tsp basil
1 ½ tsp oregano
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 c. salt
8 ounces tomato paste
½ cup parmesan cheese
Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours being careful not to let it burn. Makes 12 pints. Ladle into sterile jars and process 10 minutes.



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