Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zucchini, zucchini, and more zucchini.

The only problem with growing zucchini is, you can’t get it to stop!  A good problem I suppose, since so many other veggies can be more difficult to grow.  As I loaded 4 more 2ft long 3-6 inch diameter zucchinis into the fridge to join the 4 I picked a week before, I decided something must be done before the whole house is taken over.  

Now, no one can seem to help teasing me about how much zucchini relish I’m processing.  Daddy said “Oh yes, we’ll have zucchini relish on our eggs in the morning, we’ll eat it with toast, use it as syrup on the pancakes, drink it with coffee, put it on pizza, use it as fertilizer, clean the floors with it, and eat it right out of the jar.”  He had more ideas than that, but I think you get the idea. 
“How much zucchini relish can a family possibly eat in 12 months?”  He asks.  Well, the record may be broken this year.  Look out Guinness Book of World Records.  

Zucchini Relish (Makes 7 Pints.)
12 C. Shredded, unpeeled zucchini
4 C. Chopped Onion
5 TB canning salt
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
6 C. white sugar
2 ½ C. white vinegar
1 TB cornstarch
¾ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp. turmeric
1 ½ tsp. celery seed
½ tsp. black ground pepper
Place the zucchini and onion in a large, non-metallic bowl, and sprinkle the salt over top. Use your hands to evenly mix the salt throughout the zucchini. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, drain the zucchini in a colander, and rinse well with cool water. Squeeze out excess water and set aside. Place the red and green bell pepper, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch into a large pot. Add the nutmeg, turmeric, celery seed and pepper. Stir to combine, then add the drained zucchini. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize 7 one-pint jars and lids to hold relish. Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars all the way to top. Screw on lids.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.
Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all).

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