Fall Canning-Pickled Corn Relish

I visited the Columbia City Farmer's Market on Wednesday and everything looked fantastic! I got a little distracted by the pastries, bread, cheese, but I finally got around to the items on my list: corn, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers.

There is really nothing in the world like fresh sweet corn. In fact, America is one of the few countries in the world that eats(and enjoys) corn on the cob. Most of the rest of the world eats their corn after it is dried and processed. Here is a recipe that will conserve the crunch of sweet corn well into the winter months.

Pickled Sweet Corn Relish

3 ears of sweet corn, husked and cut from the cob (about 2 1/2 cups of kernels)
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1 green tomato or green bell pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
4-5 ribs celery, diced(about 2/3 cup)
1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/4 cup 5% acidity vinegar (white or apple cider, your choice!)
1 1/2 teaspoons Pickling Salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste

Makes about 6 half-pints or 3 pints. Recipe may be doubled.

*  TIP: When you dice the peppers, tomato, celery and onion, try to match the size of your corn kernels. Otherwise, the largest pieces will work their way to the top of the jar!

Combine corn, pepper(s), tomato, celery, onions, vinegar, salt, and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix mustard and turmeric in 1/2 cup of the simmered mixture. Add this mixture to the hot mixture. Simmer another 5 minutes. If desired, thicken mixture with flour paste (1/4 cup flour blended in 1/4 cup water) and stir frequently. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar and taste- add more sugar if desired. Fill hot jars with hot mixture, leaving 1/2- inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process. 15 minutes for pints or half pints.

Don't toss the waste out yet! There is one more project you may want to try...

Corn Cob Jelly

3 naked corn cobs
golden silk from the corn--discard the browned silk
Water to cover
2 tablespoons Ball Low/No Sugar Pectin 
2 cups sugar (white or brown)
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 drop yellow food coloring, if desired

Makes about 3 half-pints. Recipe may be doubled.

* TIP: In a sauce pan, measure 2 cups of water. Mark the level on the pan and  then proceed. This will show you when the juice is reduced enough.

Place your corn cobs and silk in a sauce pan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Remove the cobs and continue to simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Strain the liquid and return to the sauce pan. Mix pectin and sugar together and add to the hot corn juice. Add lemon or lime juice and food coloring(optional).

Bring to a full rolling boil and test the set by dribbling a little jelly onto a cold dinner plate. Tip the plate sideways to see how well the jelly is set. Taste the jelly--you can add more sugar if desired.  When the gel and sweetness are perfect pour the jelly into sterile half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process. 5 minutes for half pints.

99 Products to Make at Home: Apple Sauce to Zucchini Pickles!

Home Canning Facts:

1) Home Canning is Thrifty!
Canning jars are readily available, both new and used, and are reusable for decades. Fresh foods, purchased or gathered at the peak of harvest are inexpensive. Having a wide variety of Home Canned foods on hand prevents extra trips to the grocery store(and impulse buys. The average home canner can expect to save 30-50% off the cost of similar prepared foods.

2) Home Canning is Quick and Easy!
If you already cook meals, it is very easy to do small batches of Home Canning at the same time. Home Canning doesn't need to be the week-long project we witnessed in Grandma's day. With modern methods, the home canner can easily produce 8 jars of homemade jam in about 30 minutes or 6 jars of pickled asparagus in 20 minutes.

3) Home Canning is Healthy!
Home Canned fruits, pickles, tomatoes, jams and jellies retain the nutrients just as well as their commercially prepared counterparts without the problems associated with mass produced foods. Canning jars contain no BPA and you have full control over the amount of salt and sugar that is added to the food.

4) Home Canning is Safe!
Recipes for Home Canned products have been laboratory tested for many years and the incidence of problems associated with Home Canned foods have been reduced to negligible numbers through cleanliness and science.

5) Home Canning is Green!
Reusing materials trumps recycling! Canning jars and rings are reusable, for the rest of your life, with minimal care. Canning lids are used once and then can be recycled or, with a small extra investment in Tattler Reusable Lids, the process can be completely reusable. 

Large amounts of food can be processed at one time which spreads the energy cost across the whole batch. For example, a full batch of Home Canned apple sauce made from a local fruit tree would be processed for 20 minutes--that is about 1.5 kWh of energy or 12 cents(in the Seattle area) or about 2 cents of energy per jar of food. The waste goes in the compost, too! Compare that to driving to a store to buy a few cans of apple sauce that are going to cost $1.00 or more each than the Home Canned apple sauce.

6) Home Canning is Inspiring!
People who learn to Preserve foods at home often find themselves looking at processed foods in the grocery store and thinking, "I can make that!"  So, what products can be made and processed at home? More than you might imagine!

After attending an Introduction to Home Canning Class, students will be ready to tackle the following projects with confidence.

Antipasto Relish
Apple Sauce
Apple Juice
Apple Pie Filling
Asparagus Pickles
Barbecue Sauce
Beer Mustard
Beet & Fennel Pickles
Bloody Mary Mix
Chow Chow
Fruit butter (any flavor)
Jams (any flavor)
Jellies (any flavor)
Fruit Syrups (any flavor)
Blood Orange Marmalade
Brandied Apple rings
Bread & Butter Pickles
Chili Sauce
Chipotle Pepper Sauce
Chutney (all flavors)
Corn Relish
Cranberry Ketchup
Cranberry Mustard
Dill Pickles
Dilly Breans
Fig jam
Fruit in Light Syrup
Habanero Dill Pickles
Herb Jelly
Herbal Vinegar
Hot Sauce
Jalapeno Jelly
Lemon (or Lime) Curd
Maple & Walnut Syrup
Marinated Mushrooms
Mushroom Ketchup
Piccalilli Relish
Pickled Garlic
Pickled Onions
Pickled Green Tomato Relish
Pickled Sushi Ginger
Pickled Peppers & Pimento
Pickled Three-Bean Salad
Pineapple Salsa
Rum Sauce
Seafood Cocktail Sauce
Steak Sauce
Sweet Pickle Relish
Tomato Juice
Tomato Ketchup
Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes Sauce with Garlic & Basil
Zucchini Pickles

Classes are forming up all Summer! Visit the Registration Page to Sign-up or email vic.phelps at gmail.com

Pressure Canning Classes are also forming up! Visit my Pressure Canning Page!