Wimpy's Delight, A Hamburger Relish

2 cinnamon sticks (2 to 3 inches each), broken up
2 teaspoons whole cloves, slightly bruised
2 teaspoons whole allspice, bruised
1 quart cider vinegar
4 cups coarsely chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes (about 6 large)
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon ground, hot, red (cayenne) pepper
4 cups chopped, unpeeled, firm cucumbers (do not use waxed cucumbers)
1 1/2 cups chopped, cored and seeded sweet red peppers
1 1/2 cups chopped, cored and seeded sweet green peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric
1/2 cup pickling or other noniodized salt

Tie the cinnamon, cloves and allspice loosely in a square of cheesecloth. Combine the vinegar with bag of spices in a nonaluminum pan. Bring vinegar to a boil, adjust heat and simmer it, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring mixture to a boil, then adjust heat and simmer mixture, partly covered, stirring and "smooshing" tomatoes occasionally, until it resembles a puree, about 30 minutes. Add the sugar, mustard seed and ground red pepper. Pour mixture into a bowl, cool and cover it and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, red and green peppers, celery and onion in a ceramic or stainless-steel bowl. Sprinkle the turmeric and salt over vegetables, then add 2 quarts water. Stir mixture, cover it and refrigerate overnight along with tomato mixture.

Wash 7 half-pint (or combination of pint and half-pint) jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Drain liquid from salted vegetables and replace with enough fresh cold water to cover; let vegetables soak for 1 hour, then drain in a colander, pressing lightly.

Return vinegar/tomato mixture to pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add drained vegetables, then return relish to a full boil, stirring frequently, and cook, uncovered, over high heat for 5 minutes. Remove relish from heat. Remove spice bag from relish; squeeze all possible liquid from bag into pot, then discard bag.

For long-term storage at room temperature, ladle hot relish into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rim with a clean damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process half-pints and pints in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (for 15 minutes 1,000 to 6,000 feet; for 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).

For storage in refrigerator: simply fill clean jars with hot relish, attach lids, let cool and then refrigerate. Will keep in refrigerator for several months. Makes about 7 half-pints.

— Recipe from "Fancy Pantry," by Helen Witty.


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