Friends, if you want to give a gift that is wonderfully delicious and easy to make, then I have a recipe for you. Holiday Jalapeno Relish uses the excess Botanical Interest jalapeno peppers that are still going strong in Southern gardens (at least they are in mine because I covered them when frost threatened). Add sugar, vinegar and a couple other ingredients and ta-da, you’re done.
1 pound of jalapeno peppers (washed)
1 medium onion
4 medium carrots sliced thin
1 large bell pepper (green)
3.5 cups of sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
1 Tablespoon dill seeds
Large pot for hot water bath (processing jars)
Step one: wear gloves. Gloves are essential.
Before you begin slicing make certain the peppers are clean. I rinse mine thoroughly and soak for a couple of minutes.
Slice carrots, onions and bell pepper and set aside.
Slice jalapeno peppers and carefully remove seeds by using a spoon to scrape away membrane and seeds (this is what makes the relish hot). If you like spicy relish keep some (not all) of the seeds, but discard the membrane as it will make the relish bitter.
In a saucepan add 3.5 cups of sugar, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of yellow mustard seeds and 1 Tablespoon dill seeds. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add all vegetables and cook for 15 minutes.
Spoon mixture into jelly jars and press down to add as much relish as possible in the jar. If desired spoon extra liquid into jars. There should be about a cup of liquid left over that will either need to be discarded, or, boil a half dozen eggs, shell the eggs, and pour the brine over top. Instant spicy pickled eggs. (which I also give as Christmas gifts).
Wipe the glass rim of the jars to make sure they are clean. Add lid and ring. Tighten and add unsealed jars to large pot. Add enough WARM water to cover the top of the jars with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the jars for ten minutes.
Remove from heat.
Refrigerate any jars that do not seal and serve immediately.
Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches; Mountain Memories: True Stories and Half-Truths from Appalachia. Her first book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned her a SIBA and GAYA nomination. Email her through her website at www.reneawinchester.com. She welcomes new friends on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter Here.