Friday, September 27, 2013

Pickles & Relishes: Six Years Ago

I cannot believe I've been blogging as long as  have but this is a blog I posted in my cookbook blog six years ago. It is from Fry Bacon. Add Onions, my cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. It is available in paperback or for Kindle.

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 SpreadGrandma 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.


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