• Jan's Damn Good Relish

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  • 1 quart cider vinegar
    1/4 cup pickling spices
    2 tablespoons pickling or other non-iodized salt
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 cup chopped, fresh pickling dill
    16 peeled and chopped garlic cloves
    4 cups peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 6 large)
    1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    4 cups chopped unpeeled firm cucumbers ("pickling cukes" are preferred; do not use waxed cucumbers)
    1 1/2 cups cored, seeded and chopped, sweet green peppers
    2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 to 5 average-sized ears)
    1 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup finely minced celery
    1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
    1 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
    Wash 8 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.
    Combine the vinegar with the pickling spices, salt, granulated sugar, fresh dill and chopped garlic in a non-aluminum pan. Bring vinegar to boiling, adjust heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let vinegar cool to room temperature (to allow flavors to develop).
    Strain vinegar through a sieve into a larger non-aluminum pot, discarding loose ingredients. Add the tomatoes to brine, bring mixture to a boil, then adjust heat and simmer, partly covered, until it begins to resemble a puree, for about 20 minutes.
    Add the brown sugar, cucumbers, green peppers, corn kernels, onion, celery, mustard seed and red-pepper flakes. Return relish to a full boil, stirring frequently, and cook, uncovered, over medium-high to high heat until vegetables are thoroughly heated and mixture has thickened slightly, for about 10 minutes. Remove relish from heat.
    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 jars in a boiling-water bath 10 minutes (for 15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; for 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).
    Makes 7 to 8 half-pints.
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