When Jack and I were visiting my friend Anne, we (Anne and I) had a conversation about dreams, careers, etc. I said my dream job would to be a high school home ec teacher, but it would never work out because I'd never be able to teach the kids what I really think they need to know - bread baking, cheese making, canning, etc. Anne quipped "I don't want you to do that job because the kids would make fun of you for being in to that stuff".
In lieu of educating the next generation of canners in a school setting, ya'll are getting a crash course in the "cool" art of home preserving. I'm pretty sure Kanye is working on a song about it. It's THAT cool.
Class, today we're going to be focusing on dill relish. Ready? Stop texting!!!
Also, I have an AWESOME canning tip that you won't find in any canning books. You have to sanitize your jars and keep them hot before packing them. I'm not sure who is canning with 6 burner stoves, but I run out of big burners quite quickly between the brine and the canner. So what do I do?
I sanitize the jars and then put them in the oven at 350 degrees in a lasagna pan with about 2 inches of water. The lids and rings are on hot in my small crockpot. This frees up lots of burner space. Boo yah!
Adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving
8 pounds of pickling cucumbers
1/2 cup of salt
2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder
4 cups of water
4 cups of vinegar
1 white onion, diced
1/3 cup sugar
2 tblsp dill seed
**Remember to always use a trusted canning source. I've yet to kill anyone, but make sure you're using official sources.**
1) Prepare your lids and jars.
2) Wash cucumbers using a vegetable scrub brush. Cut the cuke butts off, slice length-wise, and cut in to 1-2 inch chunks.
3) In a food processor, pulse (use "pulse" instead of "on", else you'll end up with cucumber sauce) the cuke chunks a few at a time until the pieces look "relishy". (that is a real term. Insert fart noise here).
4) Put the cuke pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and then pour the water over it. Cover, and let stand for 2 hours.
5) After the 2 hours, put the cukes in a colander, and rinse thoroughly. Let drain and squeeze the cukes to release all excess water.
6) In your food processor, dice the onion, or dice by hand. Add to a heavy bottomed sauce pan. I used my one true love, my dutch oven.
7) Add the dry mustard, cukes, sugar, dill seed to the onions. Pour the vinegar over everything, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
It's a good idea to start your water in the canner at this point.
8) Ladle the hot relish in to your jars. I used a slotted spoon so that I could get mostly the good stuff.
Then I ladled in a little of the hot brine. Leave 1/4 inch of head space (the amount of space between the top of the food in the jar and the top of the jar).
9) Wipe the rim with a clean towel, and place your sanitized lid on top. Secure the ring.
10) Place the jars in the boiling water bath canner, and put the lid on. Process 15 minutes.
11) Remove the jars when the process has been completed. Using the crayon technique, label your jars while the lids are still hot. I always put my jars on a towel in a corner on my counter to cool. Let the jars cool completely, check the seals, and store for up to 1 year in a cool dark location. Makes about 5 half pints.
Now, if you have any questions, I'll be available during study hall.
Labels: Canning, Canning for Dummies, Homemade seasonings/Condiments