Pickles & Relishes

Since it’s that time of the year, when people are starting to can, I thought it would be a good time to add a few of our family’s favorite pickles and relishes.

Grandma Valentine’s Sandwich Spread
Grandma Valentine (at right with Grandpa and Dad's two oldest sisters, Aunt Viola and Aunt Bonnie) lived in a big house on Chestnut Street. It had a porch that wrapped around it with a porch swing. There were several apple trees, a beautiful crab apple tree, orange blossom bushes and a hedge of currant bushes along the back alley. I remember crawling under those currant bushes on summer afternoons and eating the currants still hot and juicy from the sun. Grandma had a huge vegetable garden and there were hollyhocks and peony bushes along the side of the house. Inside there was a pantry and she hung dried herbs in bunches inside the stairwell. I still remember opening the door to the stairs and the fragrance of herbs coming out. She had a canary that sat in the sunshine and sang all day. Her house was a good place in which to be a child.

Combine and let stand overnight:
2 qts. Ground green tomatoes
1 pt. ground onions
2 each of red, yellow and green peppers, ground
½ cup salt

Next day drain the excess liquid and place in a heavy pot. Add:
1 pt. white vinegar
2 ½ cups sugar

Bring to a boil and let simmer 20 minutes making sure it doesn’t burn. Chill thoroughly then add 9 oz yellow mustard and 1 pint salad dressing. Stir well and seal in jars.

Pretty Apple Relish
Grate coarse:
4 large Granny Smith apples
1 each large red and green pepper, seeded
1 medium onion
In sauce pan heat 1 c. vinegar, 1 1/4 c. white sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 tblsp cinnamon, ½ tsp each nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Add apples, peppers and onions. Simmer 20 minutes stirring often. Add 1 cup raisins. Simmer until liquid is mostly evaporated. Ladle into clean, dry jars. Seal. Let cool and keep in reefrigerator.

Dad’s Refrigerator Pickles
4 cups sugar
4 cups white vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp celery seed
Heat together until sugar is dissolved. Add:
several cloves of garlic
several slices of onion
Pour over a gallon of thinly sliced cucumbers. Refrigerate for a week before serving.
These are very, very crisp and keep a long time in the refrigerator.

Gram’s Strip Pickles
In a large bowl combine:
10 large cucumbers, peeled, sliced and cut into strips
6 carrots, simmered for 5 minutes then peeled and cut in strips
12 red and green peppers, cleaned and cut in strips
Cover with ½ cup salt and 1 quart water and let stand overnight. Rinse and drain.
Heat to boiling:
6 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
3 tsp celery seed
2 tsp turmeric
3 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp salt
Add vegetables. Bring to a boil again then shut off. Ladle into sterile jars and process in hot water bath.

Mom’s Chili Sauce
This is unbelievably good!
4 quarts cored and chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped sweet red pepper
1 ½ cup chopped sweet onion
1 small pod hot red pepper
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp salt
Simmer over a low heat until juicy. Increase heat and bring to a rapid boil, stirring often for 30-40 minutes until reduced by half. Fill a small cheese cloth bag with:
1 large clove of garlic
1 long stick of cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tblsp mustard seed
1 heaping tblsp allspice
1 bay leaf
Continue to boil with spice bag added. Keep cooking down until quite thick. Stir in 2 ½ cups white vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Discard spice bag. Ladle into sterile jars and process 5 minutes. Let stand overnight before storing.

Preserved Children
This recipe was on a plaque hanging in a friend’s kitchen.
You will need:
one half dozen small children
one large field
one sunny day
2-3 small dogs
Mix the children and the dogs together. Dot them over the large field and stir in the sunny day. Sprinkle the field with flowers. Spread with a clear blue sky. Bake in the sun until brown.



Blogger laurie said...

I have very much enjoyed your first recipe and most particularily the very beautiful way you described the family and the property, the gardens etc. It was well worth reading. Laurie McDonald, Ontario, Canada

September 1, 2009 7:43 PM  

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