That's right, boys and girls, my local produce store had a bumper crop of pickling cucumbers, so I snagged a dozen pounds and made...
Side note: I'm glad they had a bumper crop. I ended up killing eight cucumber plants.
Aren't they pretty sitting in their jars with spices floating around? Loads of dill, garlic, pepper and mustard seeds are playing nicely with vinegar, salt and pickling spices to make a tangy brine. My mouth is puckering in anticipation.
And since I actually had a few extra cucumbers left over, I decided to try my hand at sweet pickle relish. I used a recipe out of my new favorite canning cookbook. Anything with pictures that beautiful should be guaranteed to work! I tried a bit straight out of the pot and let me tell you, I highly doubt I'll be able to go back to store bought. The melding of the peppers, onion, spices, sugar and vinegar is pure perfection. I can't wait to eat it on a hot dog. What? You think I should go gourmet? Hmmm...
And then, because I'd already paid for the spices and because I had corn hanging out in the bottom of my fridge, I decided to try corn onion relish. This is my "bad boy" relish. While it's sinfully delish, it's caused no end of worry, stress and fretting. Here's the deal...
After following the recipe to the letter, I realized that it didn't call for vinegar. Since the main ingredients are corn and onion, I was a bit concerned that I'd need a pressure cooker. I went ahead and added a cup of apple cider vinegar. (Boy am I glad I did! It was a bit too sweet before. Now it's spicy and tangy and addictive.) I went ahead and processed it using a hot water bath, but now I'm worried I'm going to give someone botulism.
I called the Canning Hotline, but haven't been able to get through. I'm researching, fretting and trying to decide if we should just break up. I hope not. The jar I put in my fridge is divine.
If anyone has an answer for me, I'd love to hear it.
So that's what I've been up to. Now...I need to get going. Becky and I took the kids to pick Concord grapes and I have some steaming to do. Grape juice, here we come!