Urban Farming

What to do with all those zucchinis, Grandma knows!

What to do with all those zucchinis, Grandma knows!

zucchini If you have ever grown Zucchini you know that they are a prolific plant. You can go out in your garden and see a bunch of blooms one day, and can come back the next day to a ton of zucchini just about ready to pick. I have even made the mistake of thinking, I’ll wait until tomorrow and they will be the right size, only to return the next day to find huge baseball bat size zucchini.

Well this year I planted two plants to combat the hailstorms beating up the blossoms and the possibility of blossom end rot. As a result, I have a ton of Zucchini, so much, so that I have been taking them over to the neighbors to get rid of them. I may have over done it because now I have given my neighbors so many zucchini that they don’t know what to do with them all. When they seem me coming with another armload they pretend they are not home.

I never thought I would get tired of eating zucchini bread, but I am, and I may be gaining a little weight from eating the zucchini brownies that one neighbor keeps bringing over.

So what to do with all the rest? Make Grandmas Zucchini relish.

I’m sure she got the original version out of a canning recipe book some place but this is how she told it to me over the phone, and it taste great on all my hot dogs, hamburgers, and turkey sandwiches.


Grandma’s Canned Zucchini Relish Recipe

This is a two-day process.

Makes about 10 pints

Day 1

  • 10lbs ground zucchini
  • 4 cups ground onion
  • 5 table spoons canning salt

In a food processor grind up the zucchini and onions to what you would normally see as a relish size. Put in a large bowl and mix with the canning salt. Cover and put it in the refrigerator and let it set overnight.

Day 2

In a colander drain and rinse with cold water, do it twice or your relish will taste too salty.

Wood Slicer resaw bandsaw blade

Add and mix in the following

  • 2-1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper finely chopped

Mix well, bring to a boil and put in jars and seal.

If you have never done in it, sealing the canning jars may seem like a daunting task but it is really simple.

First, you want to wash the jars well. Then put the jars in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. This does a few things. It sterilizes the jars, keeps the jars from shattering when you put the hot relish in, and helps fuse the lid to the jar. At the same time, heat the lids in boiling water.

Once you have the jars, lids and relish brought to a boil, it is time to put the relish in the jars.

Remove the relish pot from the heat and start filling the jars leaving about a 1” of open space at the top of each jar. Wipe off the lip of the jar, apply the lid and tighten the ring. The ring does not have to be overly tight, just hand tight. Set on a rack to cool. As the jars cool you may here the lids make a popping sound, this is normal. The temperature change causes a change in pressure, causing the lid to suck down tight on the jar.

Once the jars are completely cool you will want to check to make sure all the jars sealed. Give each jar a light shake and press down on the lid. If the center of the lid presses down that jar did not seal and the relish in that jar should be discarded.

Write the date and what it is on the lid and you are ready to enjoy homemade relish all winter long.


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I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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