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I know it’s strange to get worked up about a recipe for relish. I mean, of all the condiments we use on our hot dogs and burgers, relish is generally the least appreciated. But when visiting some friends a few years back, I put some of this relish on my hot dog and immediately had to know its story. Where did they get it? How was it made? What’s in it? Was it a family recipe? My friends looked at me strangely, probably mistaking my enthusiasm for sarcasm. But after some coaxing, I learned the the recipe had been passed down from their great-grandparents and each year they would get together as a family to make a giant batch of this amazing relish. After telling me the story, they gave me a jar and sent me on my way. But, of course, this shit doesn’t last forever. And after years of begging, I finally nabbed the recipe and got a walk-through of how to make it. And, because I’m a nice guy, I’m now going to share it with you.
You’re going to need some supplies for this project. You’ll need a food processor, a very large mixing bowl, a large pot, a spatula, around six jars and lids, and a large colander. This last item is key. Preferably, you’ll want to have the type of colander that sits on a stand, allowing juices to be drained into a bowl beneath. See the picture below for an example of what I’m talking about. If you don’t have – or can’t find – one of those, just try to rig something that allows you to drain the juices, perhaps by simply setting the colander on top of a large mixing bowl.
Now, before I list the recipe, keep in mind that this was passed down through generations. Therefore, the amounts are mostly approximations and you’ll have to use your best judgement.
10 Medium Cucumbers
10 Onions, 1 – 1 1/2″ Size
3 Sticks of Celery
3 Red Peppers (Sweet)
3 Green Peppers (Sweet)
5 Cups of Sugar
3 Cups of Vinegar
I posted a picture of the onions we used to give you an idea of the size and how, again, these are all approximations. We pulled these fresh out of the garden and they worked perfectly.
Begin by taking all the veggies and grinding them all up in the food processor. Then, put them all into a large bowl and mix them together. It’ll already smell great. Then, take two heaping handfuls of salt and mix into the bowl of chopped veggies.
Then, take the veggie/salt mixture and put it into your large colander. Place the colander over a bowl and let the mixture sit and drain into the bowl for five hours.
Okay, now that your veggie/salt mixture is drained, it’s time for the vinegar. In a pot, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once this is done, add the drained veggies and mix well.
You’re ready to can! Grab your jars and fill them up with your relish. The relish will not spoil, so you don’t need to worry about getting jars that seal. I’ve stored this relish for a couple years and it always tastes fantastic.
And that’s it! The best relish I’ve ever tasted. Again, it’s fantastic on hot dogs and burgers, and if you mix it with mayo or Miracle Whip, it also makes a fantastic tartar sauce.
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