I Do Relish Rhubarb Relish

 I have done my first bottling of the season. I now have a small stock of rhubarb relish. This is a strong spicy recipe which adds lots of flavour to any meal.  I like it with omelet, or fish cakes, or sausages. My mother didn’t have her own rhubarb patch when I was little (how did she manage!!) but she did get rhubarb from somewhere and made her own relish. When a jar was brought to the table (I would heap it on my doughboys) it would always return to the kitchen empty. There is no name for that emotion a mother experiences when she is thrilled that her family loves something so much that they gobble it up, and the sense of loss she feels because they gobbled it all up in one sitting. Bittersweet doesn’t do it justice.

Waiting for the tops to pop.

Here is my favourite recipe for rhubarb relish:

Rhubarb Relish

 Rhubarb Relish:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

1 lb. chopped onions

1 cup vinegar

1 lb. sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp.  ground allspice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Boil gently in heavy pot until thickened. Pour into hot jars and seal.

You don’t need a huge pot as it doesn’t tend to boil up a froth. I wouldn’t use aluminum because it is so acidic. Then again, I wouldn’t use aluminum period; Alzheimer’s scare debunked or not. Note that the sugar and onions are given in pounds, not cups. I don’t bother to boil the jars to seal them, I just make sure that they are hot when I pour the relish in. Any bacteria that could survive in that environment deserves to proliferate. Good luck.

At a pot luck last winter I laid out the fish cakes and relish and by the time I got back with my camera, they were almost all gone!

(c) Judy Parsons June 2011

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