The Can Jam ingredient for March was Alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, and such).Â Another tough choice.Â What could I possibly make?
For some reason, I started thinking about the local hot dog stand we used to go to when I was a kid and the onion relish they served.Â I found a recipe that sounded pretty close to what I remember and…it can be canned!
Sweet Onion Relish (Small Batch) from vidaliaonion.org
6 cups ground Vidalia onions (no Vidalias here yet, so I had to use sweet onions from another continent
1/8 cup canning salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (original recipe called for 1-1/8 cups, but I didn’t want it that sweet)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon powdered mustard
Grind (or use food processor) onions, add salt and let stand 30 minutes. Squeeze juice from mixture and discard juice.
Add vinegar, sugar, and spices. (If you prefer, wrap the spices in cheesecloth and remove bag before packing into jars.)Â Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often.
Pack both onions and enough cooking liquid to cover in sterilized jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Makes about 4 half-pints.
Olfactory memories are interesting.Â The taste and smell of the relish cooking transported me back in time…to sitting in the back seat of our 1950-something DeSoto and having the carhop bring out our order, hooking a tray over the driver’s window.Â Then you had to turn your headlights on to let them know you were finished.Â What a neat blast from the past.