Last spring my neighbor Gaye was telling me about a squash relish that she makes and serves with pinto beans and cornbread. Growing up in Nebraska my mom would make white navy beans and ham with cornbread, but it wasn’t until I married my Southern-born husband that I actually cooked pinto beans. I was a very, very picky eater as a child (wish I were a little pickier these days!) and beans were never of any interest to me. I have had a good 20+ years of practice making pinto beans and cornbread and today I like them. I asked my main-man-gardener if he would grow some yellow squash so that I could make this relish. The idea of a tasty relish on the side with pinto beans intrigued me.
The squash grew beautifully and I bought sweet Vidalia onions to use in the relish. Sweet peppers, red or green are good in this recipe too. Ours weren’t quite ready from the garden when I canned the relish so I didn’t use them this time.
I diced the squash and onions, added some canning salt and let them sit overnight. The salt brings out the liquid in the squash and then is drained off.
Vinegar, sugar and spices are added and then everything is simmered for about 30 minutes.
At this point the relish is ready to be canned. I like to can. I get a lot of satisfaction when the jars are cooling and I hear the little ping –plunk – plunk – as the lids are sealing.
I am by no means an expert canner but since I want to share some of my best canning recipes with you, I suggest that you follow experts on “how to can”. I like to use my Ball Blue Book or the best website I have found is at PickYourOwn.org. This website has a huge amount of information and follows the latest updated techniques as outlined by the USDA.
This batch makes 5 pints, so you’ll need 5 pint-sized canning jars with lids and rings. The relish is canned using the water bath method. Each pint will serve 4-5 depending on how you are using the relish. This relish is a good choice to serve with chicken, fish, pork or beans!
Recipes from the kitchen this week include a side dish pie, a dessert pie and awesome birthday cupcakes!
Many Blessings and Happy Cooking ~ Catherine
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