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I decided to take a break from the sweet stuff – making it time for a relish recipe.   My interest in relishes was peaked by the health benefits of vinegar.   While not all the benefits claimed by vinegar proponents are supported by scientific evidence, there is support for claims that vinegar aids in the absorption of calcium and in regulation of insulin – both of which are good things.    

We didn’t plant summer squash this year and everything is showing up a little later than planned in our garden courtesy of a chilly June (tomatoes still green, peppers and cukes still finger sized).  This meant that when the relish making craving hit – I didn’t have the goods in the garden yet to satisfy it.  Thankfully we don’t have the space to grow corn – so I didn’t feel like I was cheating on my vegetable garden by picking up multiple pounds of fresh sweet corn at the farmer’s market for a corn relish experiment.    


After a little research, I decided to try the corn relish recipe from the Joy of Pickling.  The recipe was pretty basic, letting the corn take center stage, and didn’t contain turmeric, which I don’t like in large doses.   

Corn carnage


While putting this relish together I learned a couple of things about myself.  First – early in the morning my counting skills are suspect.  I thought I had picked out 18 ears of corn – when I unloaded them at home there were 17.  Note to self – have at least two cups of strong coffee before heading to the farmers market.  Second – I am a messy cook, by the time the corn was removed from the cobs my entire kitchen was covered in corn, corn silk and corn juice.  Finally – I have no shame as I allowed my kitchen assistant to clean up the floor after me.   

Loki - the best kitchen assistant ever


I followed the recipe with a couple of exceptions.  I needed only 15 ears of corn.  My corn ears may have been larger than average because even though I shorted the recipe by three ears, I still ended up with almost 9 pints of relish (not 6 as claimed by the recipe – so have extra jars ready).  I also substituted brown mustard seed for yellow mustard seed and an orange pepper for one of the red ones because that is what I had on hand.   

The recipe was silent on whether to blanch the corn or not – I blanched the corn to make it easier to cut from its cob.  I used about 3 minutes in boiling water followed by a dunk in ice water.   

The final product - summer in a jar


Recipe – Joy of Pickling Corn Relish   

Fresh corn kernels from approximately 18 ears of corn (2 quarts)   

 2 cups chopped green peppers   

2 cups chopped red peppers   

2 cups chopped onions   

1/4 cup garlic   

1 tablespoon pickling salt   

2 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds   

1 quart cider vinegar   

1 cup water   

2/3 cup packed brown sugar   

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil using med-high heat.  Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.  Pack into sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch head space – remove air bubbles.  Process in hot water canner for 15 minutes.  Store in cool, dry, dark place.


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