Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In which Santa Jim makes garden cucumbers into pretty foodstuff

With an abundant garden comes responsibility:

Ya gotta do something with all that food!

Sharing out is an honored tradition, as is zucchini bombing.  

The local food bank happily accepts fresh produce as well.
Lotsa cucumbers

But for us at Haiku Farm, part of the joy of our vegetable garden comes in eating the food we've created long after the leaves have disappeared from the trees.

"Food preservation" is a task that Santa Jim has chosen for himself.  

finely chopped cukes

With this (relatively) small batch of cucumbers, he decided to make a sweet pickle relish.  

In a few weeks we will have a very heavy harvest of cucumbers from the garden.  THAT is garlic pickle season!

Ingredients for the relish: onions, peppers, and cukes


The mixture is pretty

We got this enormous bowl at a garage sale for a quarter.
It only gets used during canning season, but for those
few weeks, we're glad we have it!

Adding in the spices

The brine is added, and the mixture allowed to set for a few hours

The liquid is strained away, and thrown out onto the weeds


The brined mixture is cooked a little over low heat

spooned into jars, and then placed in the hot water to process
 Jim is better than me at paying attention to details, which is an essential part of canning.  Otherwise, you know, poison.

boiling the jars to seal everything up

 So my task is to take pictures.  Probably safer that way!

After processing, the jars cool on the counter

"plink" from the lid means the seal is good

Next time you visit Haiku Farm for a hot dog roast, be sure to request some of Jim's relish.  It's good stuff.

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