Monday, July 2, 2012

Food from the Prairie: Hot Dog Relish

   Back through the years I go wondering; over time and distance to the place where my bare feet dared to run...back to my prairie. Grandmothers are in the kitchen gathering with cutting boards and canning jars; we're making hot dog relish..a recipe all her own.
   Let me be honest- I completely dislike the stuff. Of the many canning projects I recall doing with my grandmothers this is my absolute least favorite..I have no idea why, but then, I don't like pickle relishes at all. Never the less, every so often..when my mom gets a craving for it (and the cucumber harvest is good) my kitchen fills with the aroma of vinegar and mustard...where my teens gather around cutting boards to prepare the elements of my grandmother's own recipe for hot dog relish.

Grandmother's Hot Dog Relish

6 cups diced cucumbers (I peeled mine)
1 cup diced onion
2 cups diced green peppers

the sauce:
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup prepared mustard

Once the veggies are chopped, stir them together and set aside. For the sauce, stir the sugar, flour and salt together in a heavy bottom stock pot. Add the vinegar, water and mustard and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
Stir in the cucumber mixture and return to a boil; cook at a boil for five minutes.
Immediately ladle into 4 hot pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. 
Makes 4 pints of relish.

A few notes:
* the family ate this on everything: burgers, hot dogs, any meat based sandwich
* though it didn't say to, I peeled the cucumbers and seeded them..seemed logical to me
* a dear woman from our church loves it so much, she eats it straight out of the jar:)
* my farm boy says it would be better with some cayenne's in it

   As I stir, the familiar aroma fills my home...tangy vinegar and pungent mustard. My mind drifts over time where Grandpa dollops large spoonfuls over his hot dog..cooked the way he liked it..split in half and fried to a crisp on both sides. I smile..he spooned this stuff on nearly everything causing my face to scrunch every time.



Michelle said...

Food can bring back such great memories.

J.E. Traweek said...

Your farm boy is right; cayenne sounds good. I am with you though, the thought of this stuff makes my nose wrinkle, too!
Must be because Justin's sauce (green) is so good!
Ya'll have a blessed fourth! :-)) Judy