Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pickles and Relish

As the produce threatens to take over my counter and refrigerator yet again, I decided it was time to do some more preserving. I hate when my produce rots before I can get to it. I took the weekend off from canning because I needed a break from it, but Monday afternoon I was ready again.

The first on the list was the pile of cucumbers in the fridge. I used Pat's Zucchini Relish recipe that Granny posted with cucumbers instead of zucchini. I doubled the recipe. It still didn't do much to take down the number of cucumbers. But I was on to sauce. I made some tomato sauce and some tomato juice.

With some juice that I didn't can, I made a great discovery. My fresh tomato juice makes a much better Bloody Mary than the tomato juice from the store. I couldn't find the regular vodka (probably lost in the basement somewhere after the move) but citron vodka is a great twist to the regular one. I didn't drink this until the evening though, after I was done with the canning.

Then today I finished off the cucumbers by making a big batch of refrigerator pickles. Sadly later that day I went out and found I had yet more to pick. It is never ending in August. Especially with the weather being so good.

Those weren't the only refrigerator pickles either. I made some from the jalapenos I picked last week. Last year I found I liked using them from the pickle jar instead of from the freezer. So this year I'll pickle quite a few and only freeze a little. The Sweet Cherry Peppers have been ripening. I'm making sweet pickled peppers with them. I'll chop them and use them on sandwiches. Yum. They only come out in ones or twos from the garden so refrigerator pickles are the way to go for them.

Then the zucchini got grated for winter bread and soup. I still have some beans to cook up and some chard to blanch and freeze, but I cleaned out the fridge a bit at least. Until the next time I venture into the garden.


  1. I long to be overwhelmed with cucumbers everyday! I know, be careful what you wish for. :) Here on the west coast, my cukes are still just babies, and I don't think I'll be pickling any this year. Oh well. Gives me a dream to chase for next year!

  2. You have been busy! It looks yummy. You can send some of those pickles down to the south shore, I'll take care of them for you!

  3. I love the very sight of anything canned, especially tomato sauce. Yum!

  4. Aaah, you're killing me, "at least with the weather so good", just twist that knife. Actually, I'm not at all jealous of you having to deal with a glut of veggies, that's been the silver lining to our cool summer, not having to deal with excess, I'm getting so lazy about preserving. But yum, it all sure looks good.

  5. It's definitely canning season! My glut of cucumbers is over...and I'm happy about it! We have enough pickles and relish for the year.

    Your pickled peppers look good. I think that pickling peppers is next on my list.

  6. Yummy! Everything you made looks so good.

  7. So glad your weather's cooperating! We're getting a cool front next week. Low 90's for us! Woohoo?

  8. Lookin' good! I wish I had a glut of cucumbers. Mr. Granny opened the refrigerator dill pickles for dinner, and downed four of them. He discovered my tomato juice was good in his beer last year, so I'm hoping for a bumper crop of tomatoes. I only have three jars of salsa so far, and already gave one away to son John. When son Scott finds out, he'll be over for his jar.

  9. Melissa, thanks,

    Toni, last year we had the terrible weather so I didn't get much canning done then. I did plenty of apples in the fall, but very little other canning.

    The Mom, I think if you want to share my pickles, you will have to come and get them yourself. I've got plenty with more on the way.

    EG, I love the look too. I can't wait until the fall when I have them all lined up.

    michelle, well we lived through it last year when you had all the hot weather and we were having trouble getting out of the 60s in June. Now our fortunes are reversed. Now I have to spend my days canning up the tomatoes and you get to lounge around enjoying yourself. ;>

    Robin, I don't have quite enough. I'm hoping the cucumbers last into September. Then I will make some for my cousin who we are spending Thanksgiving with. She loves my refrigerator pickles. I'll have to clear out one of the full jars though. I think I'm up to eating lots of pickles.

    meemsnyc, thanks.

    Ribbit, Our heat finally broke last night. We are predicted to have temps hovering around the 80F mark for about a week. Whoohoo for me at least. I can open the windows and feel the breeze again. For us anything in the 90s is hot. I think our hot and your hot just aren't the same thing.

    Annie's Granny, lol I remember that. Tomato juice and beer. I still haven't tried it yet since I have no beer in my house. Too bad we don't have a nice space warp between our two houses. We could shuttle excess produce back and forth. The last two years our weather has been so much the opposite of each other.

  10. I had visions of you canning with a bloody Mary in one hand and a knife chopping on a cutting board in the other! LOL! The jar of pickled jalepenos, the tomato sauce, and the refrigerator pickles are all so beautiful to look at. Something about a pantry full of beautiful preserved items that gives great comfort.

  11. Beautiful! I would "waste" so much time just staring at all those beautiful jars of homemade goodness! I'm planting big for the Fall, so maybe some beautiful jars will be in my future.

  12. Yum~~~those pickles and relishes look delish, glad I don't have any veggie glut to deal with, but then I don't get to eat them, hmmmm.

  13. kitsapFG, lol no that would get me really burned. I might be fine with the knife and might not, but even on my other stove I used to burn myself canning often enough. I couldn't imagine drinking while doing it.

    Melissa, too bad I don't have an open storage place for them. Right now my storage area is on the stairs down to the basement. I had some nice shelves installed that are just the right height and are wide enough to fit two deep.

    mac, Well right now I have to work, but I'll appreciate it all come winter time and I'm frozen over.

  14. I'm going to try the shredded frozen zucchini for winter breads as well. What a great idea.