Taking inventory

So there’s that one lonely jar of zucchini relish left over from 2009 (credit for the recipe goes to my friend Alice’s sister, Pam). In a few days I will be harvesting the first zucchini and I am determined to try out a new recipe this year – zucchini chutney for a change. Now the big question is: do we eat the last jar asap, or do I better hold on to it just in case the chutney won’t turn out that great?

In any case, here’s the recipe for that fabulous zucchini relish:

12 cups chopped zucchini, or a bit more (about 4 pounds; peel zucchini if not organic)

4 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped green bell pepper

2 cups chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon dry mustard

5 tablespoons salt

2½ cups white vinegar

¾ teaspoon turmeric

¾ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ teaspoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon celery seed

6 cups sugar

1. Mix zucchini, onion and peppers in a large colander and set it over a big bowl of ice cubes in the fridge. Leave overnight.

2. The next day let cold water run over the mix and drain.

3. Bring all the remaining ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Add zucchini mix and cook for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile bring hot water to a boil in a large pot or a canning pot. The water needs to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Before I owned a canning pot, I used a stockpot, which is fine, but to prevent the jars from bumping around and breaking, I put several dish towels on the bottom and between the jars.

5. Fill piping hot relish in sterilized jars placed on a damp kitchen towel (this prevents them from cracking). Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean damp paper towel. Close jars with brand new lids and bands immediately and process in boiling hot water bath for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the water onto damp kitchen towels and let sit for 24 hours. Store in a dark and cool place.

Makes seven 1-pint jars

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