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zucchini relish - ball canning

There was one day every summer, when my mom was canning pickles, that the entire kitchen would reek of vinegar. 

Some people might use the verb "smell." But not me. No, I would definitely say it "reeked." 

As in, do you remember the green fog of death in the Ten Commandments movie? That was basically the smell of vinegar in the kitchen. 

I would even go so far as to forego meals for 24 hours not to have to enter the kitchen and smell that smell. And I love to eat. 

Obviously this had an impact on me, since I'm reliving it 25 years later. I can let things go. For real. Just apparently not that. Not that smell!

So when our garden exploded with zucchini, and I realized in the midst of canning Summer Bounty Zucchini Relish from the All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving that MY kitchen now smelled like vinegar, I had a little mom moment. It was like I'd finally arrived. Some day, my children, too, will hate the smell of a vinegary kitchen in the summertime. 


In the meantime, I burned a candle to counteract the smell (Hey, I never said I've grown to like it.) and made six times the size of a normal batch of relish and then stayed up until I heard the last jar lid ping.

(Is there a more beautiful sound? I say not.)

So, what have I learned during this smelly process? Don't let canning intimidate you. Find a way to use up that zucchini. Have tasty, homemade gifts to share with friends and family.

Oh. And wear a nose plug.

Summer Bounty Zucchini Relish

3 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups diced red, orange and yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup grated onion
2 T. Ball Salt for Pickling and Preserving
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seeds

Combine first 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt; cover with cold water. Let stand for 2 hours. Drain. Rinse. Drain again, pressing slightly to remove excess water.

Bring sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil. Add drained veggies, and return to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered 10 minutes.

Sadly hot relish into hot jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim. Center lid and apply band, adjusting to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling water bath, processing 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. 


  1. I love the sound of jars's a satisfying end to a job well done! I don't mind the smell of vinegar, but I mind the mess canning makes...sticky everywhere, and I always seem to miss a spot during cleanup.

    1. And it's the exact spot your bare foot finds right before you try to go to bed. :)

  2. When I pickle asparagus & green beans, some of my kids say, "Yuck!" Others say, "Yum! What are you making?" I call those kids my good little krauts:) Melissa

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  4. How many jars does this recipe make?


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