Pickle Relish & tingling hands

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I just made a batch of pickle relish to use up some of our cucumbers. My friend Heather shared her recipe, and hopefully my shortcuts won’t hurt the final product. First the recipe, then my modifications:

12 lg cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed and diced
12 onions (2” diameter), diced
3/4 c salt
2 lg celery stalks, diced
6 lg sweet peppers, diced
1 qt white vinegar
4 c sugar
2 Tbsp mustard seed

Mix the cukes, onions and salt and let sit for 10-12 hours. Drain until dry. Cook the vinegar, sugar and mustard seed in large pan over low heat until thick. Add the veggies, and cook over low heat until thick and the cukes turn golden. Ladle into hot canning jars and process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Makes 6 pts.

First of all, whenever I see a recipe like this, it bugs me a little. How big is a large cucumber? I wish they had a secondary measurement like weight or volume. Anyway, I started with the largest cukes I had, and by the time I got to a dozen, they were getting smaller, so I tossed in an extra. I used Torpedo onions from our CSA, which are oblong. I don’t remember whether I used 5 or 6, but they seem to have stronger flavor than the white or yellow onions I would otherwise choose. The celery and peppers were also from the CSA. I think I used 8 stalks of celery, and it still probably wasn’t as much as “2 large stalks”. I thought the peppers were all sweet peppers (I used 6 — not all large) but my fingers are still burning a couple hours after cutting them up, so now I think some of them might be a little higher on the Scoville scale than I bargained for. Then there’s the preparation. Dicing all those veggies sounded like it was going to take a while. With a toddler underfoot (and limited naptimes) I didn’t want to take all that time, so I used my trusty food processor. I shredded the cucumbers and chopped everything else. So it’s not quite as pretty as Heather’s was, but she made that batch before she had kids. :) And after all, it’s going on a hot dog… how precise does it need to be?

The other change was that I didn’t feel like dealing with canning at 11:30pm. So I used 6 half-pint freezer jars, and filled a couple other containers with the rest. Hopefully it’ll freeze well. I’m thinking about using some ice-cube trays to freeze some of it, too, but that will depend on how much time I have tomorrow. Now I’m anxious to get some hot dogs to try it out!