Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All sinus suffers welcome

Cucumber relish and more zippy zucchini

       There's been more pickling today, mainly because the garden just won't stop producing zucchini and cucumbers. So, four more bottles of Zippy Zucchini Relish (recipe here) and five bottles of Wallace's Cucumber Relish. I've tried this one before, with rather poor results; it was quite watery, not like a relish at all. But all this zippy zucchini has given me ideas, so today I chopped the cucumbers in the food processor, and strained them for a very long time through a piece of nylon curtain sheer (it's what I prefer to cheesecloth, which is quite sleezy to my mind, and not up to the job at all) and then squeezed out as much moisture as I could.  I brought the vinegar-and-sugar mix to a boil first, dumped in the cucumber and simmered it for 15 minutes. Then I added cornstarch (1 T to 1 T water) and cooked it for another 5 minutes. These ones will be thick. The recipe calls for 7 cucumbers (I used 10 because that's what I had), chopped and drained. Syrup is 3 cups white sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, and a teaspoon each of celery seed and mustard seed. Easy peasy.
"Icicles" on left, cut up ones on right
      The Icicle Pickles were bottled on Sunday - the 14 days being up at last - and it made quite a big batch, as I suspected.  I tried to arrange the "icicle" ones in the jars so they will be straight when they come out. Some were too long, and others too floppy, so they went into a tester jar for later (it's in the background up above). After all of this I am really hopeful that they will live up to my expectations! And my memories of having them at church suppers & the like.
     I actually bought more pickle jars at Value Village yesterday - I thought a dozen for $6, but it turned out that one wasn't a canner jar so I only got 11. I bought more seals and looked for a box of seals and rings, to no avail - everywhere I went, they were sold out. I've been robbing them off the jars in the pantry - I keep dry ingredients like rice, lentils, cocoa etc. in jars so I have a bit of a supply there. If all else fails. I have plenty of the wide-mouth seals and rings, but almost none of the jars, so they aren't much use to me.
     I should note that I have been using the Bernardin Pickle Crisp in everything - apparently it has a best-before date so it won't last forever, and when it goes by heaping 1/8 tsp. per jar it goes a long way. No results to share as yet.
    I have found a recipe for salsa that takes 7 pounds of tomatoes, as well as zucchini! But I think I shall have to amass some more jars before I can tackle that one. And then surely that will have to be that. Until chutney season, of course, but that's a more winter-ish activity.
     We are expecting rain, and then later this week, cold weather - I should be outdoors, probably cutting the grass like the neighbours - or battening down the greenhouse. Not on the computer, at least!

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