Zucchini Relish, Hungarian Hot Sauce–and Grapes!

I wrote last night about chopping and cooking the vegetables for two food presevation projects destined to be canned today.  It took a little longer than I thought it would–mostly because it was supposed to rain this afternoon, and we had another pressing project to attend to:

Concord Grape 2 harvest 2009There were about twenty to twenty-five pounds of Concord grapes on the one vine H had managed to preserve from the deer long enough to get a decent harvest, and we didn’t want the coming rain to dilute the sugars in the fruit (or make them mold or split).

So we got out there as the thunder started and managed to get only a little muddy, covered with grass-stickers, and soaked.  But we got the grapes in.  Now, what to do with them?  I’d like to do a little wine, but I’m not sure we’re really set up for that yet.

I also can’t eat a ton of Concords, as I have the fun family trait of getting terrible nosebleeds from eating too many red/purple grapes or drinking too much red/purple grape juice.  For some reason, drinking a reasonably large quantity of red wine does not have the same effect–thank goodness.  What an embarrassment at a wine tasting!

Well, I’ll get to those soon enough.  This afternoon, I had to get that zuke relish rinsed, drained, seasoned, and into jars.

Zucchini relish recipe

You can tell it’s a well-loved recipe.  It’s from Janet Chadwick’s The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food, Storey Books, 1995.

My next project, once the relish was out of the canner, was to run the tomato/hot wax pepper/onion/garlic through the food strainer.  I’d cooked them all together until soft last night with no other seasoning but some black pepper, then refrigerated.

I ran the whole mass through the strainer, put it back on the stove, and added a couple of bay leaves, a tablespoon of salt, a quarter cup of sugar, half a bunch of Italian parsley minced finely, and 3/4 cup of white vinegar.

Altogether I got eleven half-pints of sauce out of the new recipe.  And it is fabulous!  I get so tired of hot sauces that are nothing but heat.  This has nice spice and great flavor–and I’m so glad I thought to add the parsley–that really makes it special.

Zucchini relish and Hungarian hot sauceNow–what to make with all those grapes?


5 responses to this post.

  1. You can throw concords in the freezer and take care of them later. It brings out a little more sugar.

    I juice mine with my Mehu-Liisa and make jelly 🙂

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on September 12, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I think we’re going to make a trip to Sioux Falls today and look at wine-making supplies. H hasn’t given up the dream yet!

  3. It ain’t that hard, you only need a bucket and some yeast to get started, but start soon! It will start fermenting quickly,and you need to kill off the natural yeasties and buggies first!

  4. Posted by flyingtomato on September 13, 2009 at 9:23 am

    We started yesterday–I also started a post about it, but have been so busy doing it (and half a bazillion other projects), that I haven’t got anything posted. A FB friend gave me a lead on a local who does a lot of fruit wines, and he set us up with the yeast, nutrient, Campden tabs, etc.

    I have to say that I really appreciate the attitude of folks who want to teach others to do these kinds of creative projects–instead of the “corner the market” mentality, it’s a “the more, the merrier” mentality. I’ve always thought that the more people growing and preserving their own food, the less the burden would be in hard times, so I try to teach at least one person every year. It’s nice to meet others who will help out and get others started!

  5. Funny you say that, as I type this my wife is raiding my in law’s canning supplies.

    She’s a bit leery of my interest in canning, as she was tormented by her food preserving mother as a child. 😀

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