I was a bit reluctant to make this recipe simply because the combination of ingredients didn't seem to blend in my mind. Once I tasted it, I was convinced it was worth the time and effort to make. The sweetness coupled with the sour note is a taste I do like and this relish captures it perfectly.
The recipe I used is from my Ball's Blue Book of Preserving and I did tweek it a bit only because that's what I had on hand....plenty of peppers first off. The recipe calls for 4 cups finely chopped sweet green peppers - I had a whole lot of Marconi peppers. I actually like the Marconi better than the typical Green pepper since it has a milder taste and no bitterness to it at all. So I diced up 4 cups of the green Marconi and 1 cup of the red Marconi (substituted for the 1 cup of banana pepper called for in the recipe).
Diced tiny since this is a relish and I saved the seeds as I do with most produce from the garden for planting next year. Pepper seeds are easy to save - you just let them dry out and store away ... nothing special to do to them.
I then added more diced ingredients - 3 cups of apples and 2 cups of cabbage ... see what I mean about the combination here. Added 2 tablespoons of salt and let sit for 2 hours (which was a relief after all that dicing)! After 2 hours I drained the liquid.
Next step was to create the brew or flavored liquid for canning. I cut the sugar from 3 cups to 2 cups which seemed fine ... all that sugar just makes me shiver. Ok ... 2 cups of sugar combined with 1 teaspoon mustard seed and 3 cups cider vinegar. A hot pepper is optional and can be slit to release the flavor but removed before canning. Bring this brew to a boil, reduce heat and add all the diced veggies. Simmer for 10 minutes before packing into your canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in the boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. I plan to make up another batch - since I still have a ton of peppers - and this time make it hotter for those who like Hot! I do recommend this recipe!
Back to the saving seeds ... here are dried Sunflowers and as you can see the seeds form in the center of the flower. The petals fall off and contained in the middle are the seed. These are the Cinnamon Sun variety and seems like I have thousands so the birds will be happy this winter when I set out a little feast for them. I really don't think I need thousands of Sunflowers, but then again, I may change my mind.