When I made my amazing steamed corn in the husks I had some over, so I decided it would be a good idea to make some corn relish.
I had to make a couple of changes as the corn was already cooked; so instead of adding it at the same time as the onions and celery I added it ten minutes later.
The other change was that I had no celery seeds, so celery salt was substituted.
I reckon those two changes, the corn steamed in butter and seasoning, and the celery salt changed the flavour profile of the original recipe somewhat, but it didn’t matter as it was still really good.
As with all relishes and preserves the house was filled with the scent of it cooking and my mouth was watering from about three minutes into the cooking time so I had to practise some strong self control not to “sample” it many times during cooking.
I managed. Just…
Just to give my experience from this morning; one ear of corn is approximately a cup, one pepper is about a cup, one large red onion is about a cup and a half and two stalks of celery (which I only use when the Gods of Cooking demand it) is approximately a cup.
My Nannie, and my Mom, used to be always making and in the case of my Mom making jams and preserves. It isn’t unusual to walk into my Mom’s kitchen to find a set up with cheesecloth draining some crab apples into a jelly.
My Mom would collect the crab apples from trees in a little park close to her home where she would walk her dog and take her grandchildren, my neices and nephew, to play on the play equipment.
She even managed to recruit my Dad to help her collect crab apples a few times!
That park was beautiful, and I am sure it still is, tree lined and with a path that wandered through them, a pond on one side as you walked where a mating pair of herons lived and kingfishers fished each summer, and a little stream you cross on an old wooden bridge where ducks squawked and quacked and squabbled as they swam along in the summer. In the winter, the icy fingers of frost and ice painted everything with its beauty and turned a lush, verdant woodland into a beautifully stark, naked, almost severe wood.
Both seasons were beautiful, as was spring when everything was starting to come back to life, little green nubs everywhere and the birds slowly returning, and autumn when the numerous trees would turn into a firey, flaming backdrop to your walk.
There was no time it wasn’t, and I am sure is still, beautiful. The way the path wandered, the way roots at times came through the old worn path, the slight inclines that could cause you to draw deeper breaths and the old wooden bridge where you could easily stand for hours watching and seeing so many beautiful things.
The pond especially, in the summer, with the flittering of the kingfishers and the grandeur of the herons as they regarded you as though you were there for their entertainment before distainfully turning away to continue their day.
Wonderful memories, brought back by the scent of relish cooking on the stove. Food is so much more than fuel. It is love, life, memories, a gift to your loved ones, sustenance for your body to allow you to experience places such as that park.
• 2 cups white vinegar 2
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp salt
• 1 tbsp dry mustard
• 1/2 tsp celery seeds
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
• 5 cups corn kernels
• 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onions
• 1 cup finely chopped celery
• 3 tbsp all purpose flour
• 1 cup diced sweet red peppers
• 1 cup diced sweet green peppers
In large Dutch oven or saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard, celery seeds, turmeric and hot pepper sauce to boil.
Stir in corn, onions and celery; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until softened, about 20 minutes.
Whisk flour with 3 tbsp (45 mL) cold water; whisk into pan.
Add red and green peppers; bring to boil and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Fill hot 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Cover with prepared lids.
Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.