summer to me is a celebration of the hot dog…  generally reserved for ball games, initiation hockey tournaments or Costco, the hot dog takes centre stage during many summer get-togethers…

what gets overlooked I feel is the toppings for the hot dog…

what I see most of the time is the Wal-Mart three pack combo of Heinz Ketchup, Mustard and Relish… a pile of napkins and possibly a pop to chase it down with…

fortunately for me the farmer is a bit of a hot dog snob and requires certain items to be present while truly enjoying one…

he will absolutely eat any hot dog at any time, no matter what condiments are placed alongside it, don’t get me wrong…

but if you asked him what he would like to see when ‘dressing’ his hot dog, zucchini relish is at the top of the list…

this time of year I have to buy zucchini at the grocery store…  but if you are smart and plan ahead you have made this in the fall with the over-abundance from your zucchini harvest and are all set to go…

I refuse to buy a food processor, seeings how I have a deep fryer, juicer and rice cooker all stuck in the back of my pantry and I just can’t buy another large kitchen appliance I use twice a year…

so it took forever with this grater but it gave me time to listen to two podcasts so that was the silver lining…

the process involves getting your ingredients grated, add the salt, stir and let stand overnight… I put mine in the fridge because it feels wrong to me for some reason to leave it out on my counter… but I believe you can leave it out on the counter… in fact the recipe tells you to…

in the morning, you rinse and strain…

spices are added, along with vinegar and sugar and then you slowly boil it while stirring it….  this is when I take the time to boil my lids and get the canning jars I’ve cleaned in the dishwasher out and put them in the oven…

I’ve been told that the key to canning is a hot jar, hot lid, hot ingredients and a hot cook…  I actually have not been told that and I made it all up but it worked…

I take one jar out with a tea towel, then scoop the cooked zucchini pepper mixture into it until it is just about full… I clean the sides of if needed and then with tongs scoop out the lid and place it on the jar and screw it shut with a tea towel…

repeat until all jars are filled… I doubled the recipe and made 9 jars…  but it varies so just have a few extra ready to go to play it safe…  you listen as each lid will ‘pop’ and make you feel like a homesteader…  if it doesn’t, just put it in the fridge to use first…

and ‘wa-la’…  the farmer’s favourite topping for a hot dog…  if you have sliced onions it would be nice as well…

it’s not that he’s picky… he just appreciates the finer things in life… like a quality relish on a fire roasted hot dog…

grandma swan's zucchini relish

  • Servings: 6 small jars
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Ingredients:

  • 10 cups unpeeled zucchini, seeds removed (if large)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/3 cup pickling or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

Directions:

  • put zucchini, green peppers and red peppers through a food processor
  • add pickling salt and let stand overnight (I put it in the fridge)
  • rinse and drain
  • mix turmeric, nutmeg, cornstarch, celery seed, ginger and pepper
  • add to the zucchini mixture
  • add vinegar and sugar
  • stir and place into a large pot
  • boil for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring all the time
  • seal in jars