Late Night Canning

Hand Chopped
Just popping in to give you all a quick peek into what boyfriend and I made with some of our hand picked bounty we got from Fall City Farm last weekend!  We both agreed we had picked enough cucumbers to make a classic cucumber relish (of course we didn't have enough and I had to scramble to the market at the last second), and we also both agreed we had enough late Summer yellow squash to make something I never thought I would make, pickled squash.  Not because I don't like squash (I love it), but because I just never thought to pickle it!  That good ol' Ball canning book sure does have some nifty recipes I tell 'ya.

Luckily for us, we had enough yellow zucchini from the farm to make exactly 5 jars of pickled yumminess.  At least, I hope it's yummy, we can't really crack open a jar for a few more weeks...it has to, you know, pickle.  Unfortunately, it was practically the middle of the night when we packed and processed the jars for our pickled squash, so I didn't take any pictures. 

(You may notice from the picture up there that a certain measuring glass is in use...you can't see the logo, but rest assured it is indeed Pyrex...and it IS INDEED an 8-cup measuring glass!  I hear you saying, but Anna, you said through clenched teeth in your post about your first canning experience that the peach butter debaucle caused you, er, someone to break your 8-cup measuring glass!  And I say to you that yes, yes, that did in fact happen, but we found another one!  It only took us a year of solid [one never admits maniacal] thrifting, but we found one.  And I am so happy!)

Relish and Pyrex
For the classic relish, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, celery, and onion all get chopped up into tiny little pieces (next time I'm totally using my pokey little food processor, p.s. and b.t.w) and soaked in salt to get the moisture out from the vegetables.  Four hours later you drain, rinse, and squeeze any remaining water and salt out of the mixture.  What they don't point out in our nifty Ball canning book is that most colanders have holes just about the size of our finely chopped relish mixture...and you're supposed to drain it.  So boyfriend got resourceful and suggested we sieve everything through a basic flour sack kitchen towel.  And this is why I keep him around: because it worked.  Rinsing, draining, and most especially, squeezing out any remaining moisture worked beautifully through the towel.  The towel was a bit on the orangey side after we were through, but it is now the designated canning towel so one need not care.

Evening Canning
Even though we used some of our fresh red onions from the farm in our pickled yellow squash, the turmeric that is added to the hot brine sort of sucks the purplish-redness out from the slices of onion.  But the blazing yellow that remains is going to be a bright spot in someone's cupboard come Christmas.  The relish, however, retained all of it's lovely colors, mustard and celery seeds suspended artfully in the mix.

I think my favorite part of canning is putting my nose over the simmering cauldron to take a preliminary (and anxious) sniff of whatever we happen to be making, just to make sure that yes, this is in fact beginning to smell like whatever it is we're supposed to be making.  This time I started jumping up and down shrieking (quietly, it was about 10 o'clock at night, we do have neighbors), 'We're making relish, it smells like relish, OMG RELISH!'

Yes, yes I do get really excited about simple things like relish.  And measuring glasses.  It's pretty easy to keep me happy.

3 comments:

  1. You're quite the little canner! Dad

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am excited for you! Everything looks delicious; let me know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete

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