Friday, September 30, 2011


“Abundance: A great or plentiful amount. Fullness to overflowing.”

This is one of my favorite words. I am so grateful for the abundance all around me. Much of what has led me to be so involved in preserving and preparing stems from the abundance around me. I think my grandma said the same thing in another way, “Waste not, want not!” It is true. It is so very easy to overlook the abundance around us and want more.

Let me share with you some of the abundance I’ve seen lately:

A sweet girl sharing her extra garden produce with friends and neighbors (and even a stranger).

An elderly lady picking the small, seemingly useless apples off her tree to make jelly.

A kind couple sharing their extra garden produce with friends and neighbors.

A girl freezing just a few ears of corn that would have ordinarily gone to waste, to enjoy as part of a meal later on.

We live in a world of great abundance but also in a world of much waste. It is so easy to throw out leftovers or let the last few veggies freeze on the vine rather than preserve what we can, even if it is a small amount. A little of this and a little of that adds up to something to be grateful for later on.

If you have extra garden produce this year don’t let it go to waste. Turn your green tomatoes into green tomato relish, your last few ears of corn into corn relish or maybe those last few beets into a few jars of pickled beets. Every jar you preserve adds up to something you didn’t have before. Remember that dehydrating extra produce is also a great way to preserve your abundance.

Today I want to share some of my favorite recipes; most have been handed down to me, to use things that might otherwise go to waste. Check for the abundances around you, whether it’s small amounts of produce from your garden or a neighbor, good sales of things that need to be used quickly or just something for fun. You’ll be amazed when you start looking at all the abundance around you, just how much there really is.

Green Tomato Relish – My mother-in-law

3 quarts Green tomatoes, ground or chopped fine
6 onions
3 cucumbers
3 red peppers
3 green peppers
1 t. turmeric
1 t. ginger
1 t. allspice
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. salt
5 c. sugar
4 c. vinegar
Grind tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and peppers or process in a food processor until fine chunks remain.
Combine spices, sugar, salt and vinegar. Stir over med heat until sugar is melted and syrup is hot. Pour syrup over vegetable mixture and boil until thick. Ladle mixture into hot jars and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Pickled Beets – My mother-in-law
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. vinegar
1 c. beet juice (water the beets were cooked in)
Top beets and scrub well with a vegetable brush until clean. (Small beets are the best but any size works well. Cook beets in a large pan until tender. The peeling will slip right off when the top is removed. Pack small beets in jars whole or cut in chunks or slices as you wish. Combine sugar, vinegar and beet juice (enough for the number of jars you are making) and bring to a boil. Fill hot jars with beets and finish filling with hot syrup. Put on new lids and add rims. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
*I have tried lots of pickled beets in my time and Never tried any that I like as well as these!

Chili Sauce – My sister-in-law Jan
*This makes a very large batch but recipe can easily be cut in half. This is a sweet chili sauce great mixed in meatloaf, any casserole or served with chips!
36 Tomatoes
5 green peppers
4 red peppers
12 small onions
4 ½ t. salt
4 ½ c. sugar
3 c. cider vinegar
3 t. cinnamon
2 t. celery seed
3 t. paprika
1 pkg. whole pickling spice in a spice bag or cheesecloth
Scald tomatoes and peel and chop. Peel onions, core peppers and grind in grinder or food processor. Mix together all ingredients in a large kettle. Cook 2-3 hours until thick, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Ladle into hot jars and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. YUM!

Corn Relish – A family favorite
10 cups corn
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. chopped sweet red pepper
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 T. salt
1 ½ c. sugar
2 ½ T. mustard seed
1 t. celery seed
½ t. turmeric
2 ½ c. white vinegar
2 c. water
Drop ears of corn in boiling water. Boil 5 minutes. Dip in cold water. Cut from cob; measure. Combine corn with remaining ingredients and boil 15 minutes. Pack into sterilized canning jars to within ½”of top. Put on cap, screw band tight. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Y: 5-6 pints.

Glazed Carrots – Ball Blue Book

6 ½ - 7 lbs. carrots
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. cold water
1 c. orange juice
Wash and peel carrots. Wash again. Cut carrots into 3” pieces. Slice thicker ends in half lengthwise. Combine brown sugar, water and orange juice in a saucepot. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Keep syrup hot. Pack carrots tightly into hot jars, leaving 1” headspace. Ladle hot syrup over carrots, leaving 1” headspace. Remove e air bubbles. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process in a pressure canner - pints and quarts 30 minutes at 13 lbs. pressure (dial gauge canner) or 15 lbs. pressure (weighted gauge canner).

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