Dad’s Special Relish

Dad’s Special Relish




There was lots of area wear where the LF&C New Britain arm strong cast iron grinder that was attached to the edge of the kitchen table. My brother and I would supply the endless hand cranking power to grind out the family recipe ingredients until our arms were taut from over use.

To make it less of a chore I would pretend it was a machine gun and would make the bang- bang machine gun shooting sounds as I cranked the make believe Gatling gun just like they did in the movies on Daniel Boone.

Dad collected several bushel baskets of produce, stacked in the root cellar and waiting in line to be ground up and turned into his famous relish. This was several gardens harvest for making dads personal condiment relishes, chilli sauce and salsa’s. It was a yearly event and all the aunts and uncles contributed to the cache with their home garden bounty. Dad had a huge 6 burner commercial oven and gas range next to the laundry tubs in the basement. He had huge 20/40 quart stock pots and that covered most of the surface. It was here he cleaned and skinned all the prepped vegetables needed to make a batch that would last all year. By the end of the summer I noticed that my arm muscles had grown and were hard like a rock! I remember how much fun it was being involved and was learning the process without knowing. Later on in life it would surface as useful information during my career as a chef.

My mother and aunts prepared several different varieties done with characteristic twists on personal tastes. I have made some very tasty relishes that have won high commendation.

The fancy 250 ml jars that we have today can make a memorable gift taste treat for any occasion.

This next recipe is a great starter for its simplicity. The added apples and cauliflower make it a great condiment for more then just dogs and burgers.

Let’s start with this first batch and see how you do!

Set your self up an area with a large stainless steel pot. [Using aluminum when cooking or mixing items with acidity such a tomatoes, onions or peppers will cause a chemical reaction with the aluminum which will discolour and taint the flavours.]


Have all your canning jars and lids sterilized and ready to go. Your stirring spoon, pouring cup and bottle style funnel should be sterile also.

When ever I do a canning process I make sure that I have all my ingredients washed and taste tested to make sure that they are top notch.

When hand washing, you will be able to detect any bruising or impurities.

I have lectured to my staff and friends that the end result of a recipe only turns out delicious if you start with great tasting veggies, fresh dried herbs, spices and full strength vinegars.

You will need;

6 to 8 cucumbers

3 onions

4 ribs of celery

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

4 apples

2 cups cauliflower flowerets

2 Tbsp pickling salt

3 cups vinegar

3 cups sugar

2 Tbsp pickling salt

1 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp celery seed

1 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp cornstarch


Chop the first 7 ingredients by knife, hand grinder or food processor into small bite size pieces.

Put all vegetables in large stainless steel pot.

Next add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil stirring to mix.

Boil for 4 minutes.

Mix cornstarch in a ¼ cup of water and add to the mixture and continue to mix and boil another minute.

Place in sterile jars and seal tight.

Store in a cool area.

Refrigerate after opening.   [Makes 12 x 250 ml jars]