From this dirt, to this hotdog

It doesn't matter if I grow a dog turd and can it with a rotten peach. If I grew it, and I canned it, it is better than gold in a jar. Thankfully, I think this stuff tastes a little better!

This year we finally finagled a small garden in our little patch of woods and it's been a great success. Square foot gardening really works, and we've enjoyed fresh veggies all season long. The freezer has beans and zucchini, the tomatoes are awaiting their turn in the food dehydrator. The broccoli is long gone and if we have to eat one more salad we're all going to grow buck teeth and fluffy tails.

But the peppers.

I love love love banana peppers, but only in the last few years. Upon becoming pregnant with my third child I instantly became a fan of hot peppers, mustard, onions. Anything in that pungent family that would ordinarily send mommies-to-be straight to the Tums.

My banana pepper crop this year produced just enough for me to make Sweet and Sour Pepper Relish, a recipe from the good ol' Ball Blue Book (a staple for any canner) and one that i haven't made in years, mostly because a) we haven't had a garden and b) anyone who has tried to can with 3 kids on their feet understands the complexity of the task.
However, yesterday I was bound and most determined to get it done. It may have taken a long time, but the sense of accomplishment and odd feeling of peace are worth blowing the whole day on seven little jars.

Chopping by hand into teeny tiny pieces is something I cherish, and having to chop up, oh, about 10 cups of it was long, tedious, and wonderful. The salting, the boiling, the canning.
We all gathered around the half-pint jars waiting for the pop of each one sealing.

Pop, pop, pop.

Music to my ears.

And relish for my hotdogs.
The recipe I used can be found here. The recipe I made can be found here...


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