ZIPPEE SUMMER RELISH 0

Is your garden running over with zucchini? This Southern "relish" that can be eaten as a side dish is so yummy and so easy to make! I named it ZIPPEE relish..."Z" for Zuchinni and "ZIP" for the zing from the cherry peppers and "P" for Peppers!

Even if you have never home-canned before this is a great recipe to try! It came from my friend, Rita, and below you will find the recipe I tweaked-- to make it my own. I am hoping to make enough to give as gifts this year at our family Thanksgiving gathering ..... If we don't eat it all first!

[PRINTABLE RECIPE CLICK HERE]

NOTE: Using a slicer/shredder blade on a large food processor attachment makes this job fast & easy-just rinse and wash your fresh vegetables well and zip them through the shredder.

10 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 1/2 lbs)
(I even used Summer yellow squash and xlrg cucumbers from our garden as on one of my batches I didn't have enough zucchini....turned out the same!)
4 Large Onions, chopped
2 Medium green peppers chopped
2 medium red peppers chopped
6 large pickled cherry peppers (optional but gives is the nice zippy flavor)
(I even put my peppers through the slicer/shredder. Or if it is therapy for you then go ahead and chop by hand...for me...i just want it done and the mess cleaned up sooner rather than later so I use every shortcut possible!)

Place a layer of ice cubes in the bottom of a very large stainless steel bowl or pan. After all of the vegetables are shredded put them in the bowl/pan directly on top of the ice cubes.

[TIP: You could use a clean large plastic dishpan if that's all you have on hand.]

Then sprinkle 1/2 cup salt over it all and add another layer of ice cubes on top of the mixture. Cover with a clean cotton towel. Let stand for 1-2 hours. [TIP: Canning/pickling salt is recommended or I have had no issues when I have used sea salt.] This mixture will be rinsed and squeezed before adding to the vinegar mixture.

When time is up and shredded/salted mixture is well-chilled and the ice melted, set the pan in a large sink.  Lift up mixture and place in large colander. Run cold water over all and rinse well. Pick up handfuls of the mixture and squeeze out excess water and put into a clean bowl. Do this until you have all the mixture rinsed and squeezed. 

Add to a large stainless steel cooking pot (do not use aluminum cookware):
2 cups sugar 
2-1/2 cups cider vinegar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. pepper
Stir constantly and bring to a boil.

Now add the Zucchini mixture to the boiling vinegar mixture and return to a light boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 10 min, stirring often. Remove from heat.

Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2 in. head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and adjust lids. Hot water bath for 15 mins. Makes around 6 good pints.

We use this relish piled on top of burgers, dolloped on top of butter crackers with cream cheese, on a chili dog and with any meal that goes well with coleslaw. It is delish!


Blackberry Dreamsicles 0

We have always lived in the country and always had plentiful thickets of blackberries. Picking blackberries is just standard fare around here every summer…it’s therapy plucking a plump ripe berry and dropping it into a basket. I sketched this for my nature notebook some years ago.
Here on our acres thickets are plentiful with berries and the little GrandDears are keeping up the tradition of plucking berries and bringing in cupfuls to make treats.

They all love our original recipe of BlackBerry Fritters found in The Young Man's Handybook. I think I’ve just found a new favorite!

Flipping through some old Southern Living Magazines I found a featured recipe of Buttermilk-Blackberry Popsicle. Hmmm…sounds interesting ‘cuz recently I have acquired a taste for thick and creamy raw buttermilk we get from a local  dairy…I keep it in a tiny glass bottle in my frig door and take a few swigs a few times a day…good fer ya!

[PRINTABLE RECIPE CLICK HERE]

I tweaked up the recipe and made them like this:
Blend up in food processor or blender:
1 1/2 cups washed freshly picked blackberries
7 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate
Mix together:
1 1/2 cups fresh creamy whole raw buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup clover honey
Add in fruit and buttermilk mixture alternately to popsicle molds or mini paper cups (like little bathroom dixie cups)  until 3/4 full. Place in freezer on sturdy shelf for 20 minutes. Then push in wooden Popsicle sticks into centers of each pop. Freeze overnight.

Note 1: You will have to run warm water over the outside of the mold or cup for a few seconds to be able to loosen the popsicle from the mold.
Note 2: Blackberries have seeds…some of these are blended in the processor but the popsicle will have small seeds still – so if you have an aversion to blackberry seeds or digestive issues you would need to put the berries through a strainer first to remove all seeds. The BOSCH accessory of the Berry Press does a great job of this if you want to go to the extra trouble of removing the seeds.
Note 3: I think after savoring and enjoying these dreamy frozen treats, that it would be delish with blueberries or strawberries too! So I am definitely going to try it as soon as the blueberry patch across the lane starts hanging heavy with plump blue deliciousness.
NOTE: I've tried it since with peaches and also strawberries and it is AMAZING!