The first recipe is called quart relish. This recipe came from Mrs Washburn, the mother of Glen Washburn. My father met Glen when they lived in Rock Island, Illinois. They were both members of a local motorcycle club and became good friends. Glen was a large man and owned his own heating and refrigeration business. He lived at home with his parents until he finally got married in his thirties. My mother indicated that his living at home wasn't a case of failure to launch, but simply a matter of taking care of his parents due to their limited income. Glen Washburn had an incredible knack of showing up at my parent's home whenever my mother had just baked a pie or his favorite banana cake. His mother's quart relish recipe is a fitting memorial to their friendship.
Quart relish gets it's name from the fact that the relish is made from a quart each of the seven main ingredients. The recipe for Quart Relish is as follows;
Mix together one quart each of ground Cabbage, Green Tomatoes, Onions, Unpeeled Apples, and Bell Peppers. (However, the apples should be cored)
Press out the excess liquid and add one quart of vinegar, one quart of sugar, one tablespoon of mustard seeds, and one tablespoon of salt (obviously pickling salt).
Mix all of this together and bring to a boiling point. Simmer for five minutes and pack into sterilized jars. Makes approximately 5 quarts.
I would like top add a few editorial comments. This recipe is elegantly simple. The only thing difficult about making this or any other relish is grinding up the vegetables in a meat grinder. Note that the instructions didn't include water bath canning of the finished product. When my mother was a young housewife, this type of open kettle canning of jams, jellies, and pickles was common. Since the relish contains a fair amount of vinegar and sugar, chances are good that it would keep well without water bath canning. I don't ever remember any of Mom's quart relish lasting long enough to go bad. All the same, I would recommend processing the finished relish in a water bath canner for ten minutes. I have not used this particular recipe although I have eaten a fair amount of quart relish over the years. It is quite tasty and the recipe is worthy of recording for posterity. My sister and her daughters recently made a batch of quart relish and I was a fortunate recipient of a pint. I haven't opened it yet only because the flavor of most pickled products improves if one has the patience to wait three weeks after the pickles are made before the pickles are eaten.
While we are on the subject of relish I think we should list Green Tomato Relish as the second recipe. I made this relish just a few days ago and I was very pleased with the results. It came out very close to the store bought sweet pickle relish that I love to put on hotdogs. Mom was fairly certain that she got this recipe from her grandmother, Lillie Etta Heiskill, the wife of Enos Henry Sinor. The Sinors were subsistence farmers in Baxter County, Arkansas. They raised most of their own food in a one acre vegetable garden and as my mother put it, "They weren't the kind of people who wasted stuff."
I too had a large vegetable garden this year, although I don't think it was anything close to an acre. It was probably closer to a quarter of an acre. That is still a fairly large garden by today's standards. I planted about ten tomato plants and they produced profusely. In anticipation of frosts in the not too distant future, I started pulling up the tomato vines for the compost pile and harvesting the tomatoes, ripe or not (mostly not). I ended up with three five gallon buckets full of green tomatoes. Some of them I plan to store and let them continue to ripen. However, that isn't a workable strategy for 15 gallons of green tomatoes. Therefore, I was very happy to give the green tomato relish a try. Between the green tomato relish and three other green tomato pickle recipes I've tried, I'm now down to a mere ten gallons of green tomatoes ripening in my shop.
Green Tomato Relish
1 cup of salt ( pickling salt of course)
1 gallon green tomatoes
1 gallon ground cabbage
1 dozen medium onions, ground
1 dozen sweet peppers, ground
12 to 16 hot peppers, ground (according to taste). I only added a few Jalapeño peppers, partly because I only had a few hot peppers on hand and partly because I don't like really hot food.
6 cups of sugar (or more)
2 teaspoons of powdered dry mustard
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of celery seed
1/2 gallon of vinegar.
Add the salt to the ground tomatoes and let stand. (The instructions didn't indicate how long to let the salted ground tomatoes stand. I simply ground up the tomatoes first and let them stand while I ground up the other vegetables.)
Drain the remaining ground vegetables in a cloth bag.
Drain the tomatoes.
Mix the drained vegetables with the tomatoes.
Add the sugar, mustard, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric and vinegar.
Boil five minutes.
Add the celery seed.
Pour while hot into sterile jars and seal.
Makes approximately 20 pints.
|Green Tomato Relish|
I have a few comments to make about this recipe. Note again the absence of water bath canning in the instructions. I processed my relish in a water bath canner for ten minutes. Also note that most recipes from the 40s and 50s made large volumes of finished product. Big families were more the rule then. Also, while this recipe is not complicated, the grinding is a bit of work. My feeling is "In for a penny, in for a pound." If I'm going to the trouble of getting the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer dirty, I'd rather do it for 20 pints of relish, rather than for a mere five pints. Besides, the relish turned out so well that we will probably end up giving some of it as gifts. If I don't make 20 pints, there may not be enough relish to last me until the next time I have a serious surplus of green tomatoes.