Okay, I don’t want to hear it — the smell only lasted a few days, at most. And if all goes according to plan, this little stockpile of freshly-made relish will be with us for months.
Minus the flea beetles and, of course, what we’ll go ahead and call “the great squash scourge of 2015,” our first-real-garden adventure has been mostly successful. The blistering heat of late summer has us wishing, despite ourselves, that the rain would return… but the tomatoes are loving the sun. And we may even find ourselves with an eggplant or two by August’s end – having nursed them back to health in a post-beetle world.
… we won’t talk about the squash. They were so healthy… it all happened so fast.
Regardless, we’re still swimming in the stragglers… so I suppose if there was one thing we could spare…
But the bounty — of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and herbs — has allowed us to get a little more creative.
… and that creativity, thankfully, includes this big steaming pot of homemade relish and the sweet, sweet smell of apple cider vinegar in the air.
1 fresh baguette, sliced
2-3 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
Homemade dill relish (Recipe below)
Few sprigs fresh dill, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread baguette slices with butter and toast in the oven until golden brown and crunchy.
Spread each toast with a generous bit of quark, then place peaches and relish on top. Garnish with dill.
Homemade dill relish
2½ lbs cucumbers, peeled, diced, and seeds removed
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
1 banana pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup salt
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 bay leaves
Place diced cucumbers, onion, peppers, and garlic in a large bowl. Combine with salt and pour water over the mixture until covered. Let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Drain the cucumber mixture in a colander, rinse thoroughly with water, and drain again.
In a large stock pot, add sugar, vinegar, and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add drained cucumber mixture and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Ladle the hot relish into hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Sealed jars will store in a cool, dark place for a year. If the seal is broken, the relish will keep in the fridge for at least a month.