Family Cooking Time Invasion

Crab Apple Tree

Mondays with Myrt is my weekly noontime appointment. Dear Myrt’s Hang Out on Air  provides genealogy updates from the past week. I always learn something. This week was not exception. What did surprise me was when she shared what she had for her morning breakfast that included homemade grape syrup and jelly. I had a sudden invasion of memories from my youth of family canning session over the wood stove at my aunt’s house.  My aunts, mother and I would gather the seasonal harvest from the farm and kitchen gardens. Depending on the season we would can vegetables, fruits, dry herbs and make from scratch spice mixes and pectin for the next year.

Mr. Myrt brought two zucchini for Dear Myrt to show us from there garden harvest. I immediate thought of Mom’s relish recipe and home made apple pectin. With today’s stores providing ready made pectin and relish very few people have recipes to make them from scratch. I have created several family recipe cookbooks over the years to pass those recipes on to the next generation.  I have taught both my daughter and son how to can and cook. Yes, I even taught my son. I don’t believe in gender separation of roles. We all need to survive in this world; If anything should happen my children would know how to live off the land without electricity as our founding fathers and mothers of this nation did.


Additional recipes
Additional recipes



Zucchini Relish

Mom’s recipe (Shirley Stearns)


5 lbs. zucchini, cut fine                                      2 ½ c. sugar

½ c. onions cut fine                                                       1 Tbsp. mustard seed

1 sweet green pepper cut fine                                        1 Tbsp celery seed

1 red sweet pepper cut fine                                           1 ½ tsp turmeric

2 ½ tsp salt                                                                   2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 ¼ c vinegar

Combine zucchini, onion, sweet green and red pepper and salt in a large bowl; set aside overnight in water that covers the mixture. Next day, drain and rinse twice. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery, turmeric and cornstarch. Mix all ingredients together and cook slowly on warm heat for thirty minutes.

Place heated mixture into prepared canning jars; Process relish in water bath for 10 minutes.

This is how my mother gave me the recipe. She had taught me how to sterilize and process.  Here is a video for the water bath from You – tube: Water Bath

Corn Relish
Corn Relish