It is this garden of ours, and the harvest, and autumn, and free corn from my niece, Ashley, and her cute baby Tenley (who I tended on Saturday for 6 hours and I fell completely in love with!) and having empty canning jars in the basement that need to be filled, and Anaheim peppers, and ............
You see, I am out of control.
I can't help myself.
It must be in my genes..... let's blame my Great Grandma Johnson, and her daughter, my Grandma Walters. And then there is my mom, and now me.... Yep, it is in our genes and then it is in my jeans.
I know I am rambling. It is a disease of canning that makes me do this.
*Deep breathe* let it out slowly * repeat* as many times as necessary.
Saturday DH and I went and picked corn with my niece, Ashley.
It is a huge field, and we had about 4 clothes baskets filled with corn on the cob in about 16 minutes.'
Then we hugged our Ashley and thanked her for sharing the corn.
We hurried home, and realized we were out of control. We had way too much corn.
But we have wonderful neighbors, who are willing to pitch in and help. And we are wonderful neighbors to live by, because we say things like, "If you help us husk the corn and cut the kernels off the cobs.....then the corn becomes your problem. You have to can it. Thanks for hanging out with us while we husk our corn and cut the kernels off the cobs".
Our neighbors were thrilled! They didn't have to go and get the corn, and the mess was at our place, so they knew they made out like bandits!
Now, I was busy working that day, and the camera didn't want to get slimmed by corn juice, so just imagine me, DH, Connie and Norman working so hard and cutting the corn off the cobs. While you are imagining this, imagine Norman sharpening his knives on DH's knife sharpener. Then you can imagine what Norman did to his finger when he was cutting the corn kernels off the cob. He left the party to play doctor to his finger. But it didn't take us long to have all the kernels cut off the cobs.
With 4 of us working it went very quickly.
I was in the kitchen preparing before I knew it.
I was chopping onions and stuff.
My life won't be complete unless I share the recipe with you.
So, here goes.
16 to 20 fresh ears corn (8 cups)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups dice celery (6 stalks)
1 1/2 cups dice red bell peppers (2 medium)
1 1/2 cups dice greed bell peppers (2 medium)1 cup dice onion (1 large)
3 cups white vinegar
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 t. dry mustard
2 t. kosher salt
2 t. celery seed
1 t. ground turmeric
You will want to "dice" the veggies to be about the size of a large kernel of corn so that each bit will have all of the ingredients.
Measure 8 cups. In the 8-10 quart stainless steel pot combine corn, celery, sweet peppers, and onion. Stir in vinegar, sugar, mustard, kosher salt, celery seed, and turmeric. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Note: The original recipe calls for cornstarch and water (3 Tablespoons each) to add as a thickener.
Remove from heat. Ladle hot relish into hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process for 15 minutes in the water bath, starting timing once the water has come to a rolling boil. Makes 5 pints.
So, I cut up all the onions, celery, peppers and put them in a bowl.
I added all the spices to the bowl.
In a sauce pan I measured out the corn, and added the veggies and seasonings.
I the corner of my kitchen I was sterilizing the bottles. I do this in an electric fry pan. It makes my life easier. It frees up all the burners on the stove top. I place a dish cloth in the bottom of the fry pan to help protect the tops of the bottles so they won't get chipped. I add the flat lids in there, too, so they are sterile and ready when I need them. Did I ever tell you I add a little bit of vinegar to this as well. It keeps the jars and lids clean and sparkling.
The big pot on the left is the "water bath", only it is a steam bath. That is processing the bottled corn. I have one batch going and I am filling bottles for another batch.
The steam coming out of the little hole on the front lets you know it is working. It is faster and not as messy as the water bath method where all the bottles are submerged in boiling water.
The bottles need to be sterilized about 5 minutes.
Then I put them on a small cookie sheet next to the cooked corn mixture and fill the bottles, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
Wipe off the rim of the bottles before you add the flat lid. If food or something is on the rim, it may interfere with the sealing of the jar.
When all the jars are filled, then put them in a water bath for the amount of time needed for your altitude.
I set the hot jars on a folded dish towel on my counter. Then I wait. Before long I hear the popping of the lids as the jars seal. That is my favorite sound when I am canning.
I always write what is in the jars on a label or on the lid.
I always date the jars or the lid.
Corn Relish 9/11
It makes my life much easier than trying to remember.
I hope you will try to make some Corn Relish. It is easy and tastes so good.
We eat it on fried eggs, tortilla chips, hot dogs, and pork roasts.
It works just like a salsa for a dip.
Mix it with cream cheese and serve with crackers and you will eat the whole thing.
I hope you get to do some Corn Relish soon.
At the end of the day I had filled 41 bottles of Corn Relish. So, we are set for the winter.