I decided to use all my abundance of squash and make relish with it. Our main use of relish is hot dogs, what do you all use relish for when cooking, I feel like it is being underused at my house. I need some ideas?
I mix relish in a jar with mayo and mustard to make a sandwich spread(I hate pulling a bunch of jars out of the fridge for a sandwich), and with onions,mayo,dill and lemon juice for tartar sauce. That's about as creative as I get. I don't make my own relish, but I should learn how because we go through it pretty quickly.
Tarter sauce, and anything else you like a minced pickle in/on. If you have no other ideas, maybe don't bother. Ketchup also works with relish and is a great topping for burgers too.
I put relish in potato salad, along with mayo, chopped hard-boiled eggs, salt, pepper, mustard, and, of course, the potatoes.
I have German ancestors. My family was fond of serving some kind of a relish with the meal. Those who liked relish with their meal would put a spoonful of it on their plate and take little small amounts of it with each bite of their meat.
My daughter likes to put relish in her green salad. Sometimes she does not use salad dressing at all. Her husband's family is of German descent also, and he was the one who got her started doing this.
Not only in potato salad, but try it in macaroni salad, in devilled egg filling, on sandwiches and wraps, and burgers as well as dogs. Yum!
Here is a link that might be useful: Lindsey's Luscious (my food blog)
I have used relish on pork with great success and on cooked cabbage. It's very tasty as a side dish to roast beef. Add it on your kielbasa too.
I use relish in tuna and egg salad. Gives it that little zip. I also keep a little jar of mayo mixed with relish and mustard in the fridge. A friend of mine who grew up in Holland loves to dip french fries in it. (shrug)
"...use all my abundance of squash..."
I want to address that portion of your post because so many gardeners feel an obligation not to waste any of a large, successful crop. This may not apply to you, but to many it does. Friends of mine who had no gardening experience bought a house with a nicely developed veggie garden. They planted a 30 foot row of summer squash. Of course, they grew all the squash to maximum size. Then they tried to figure out how to make use of it all. They rented locker space in a freezer plant. Even that was not enough to accommodate the crop. And how many meals of summer squash do you think they planned to eat each week throughout the year? I guess the answer is they didn't plan at all.
It's sad to see anyone become overburdened by something so joyful as an abundant crop. Again, I'm not saying this is you. I hope not.
My positive advice is when you have an abundance, pick lots of squash at a very small size for fresh use and enjoy it at its best. Then use a modest amount at larger size for such things as relish, chow chow, rattatouile, zucchini bread, etc. Grow the rest large for great compost. Above all, don't feel burdened by a good crop. Keep thinking of your abundance of squash as a valuable gift.
BTW, I cannot understand why gasoline can't be made from zucchini. That would solve two great national problems.
And, don't forget there are a lot of hungry people out there so consider calling local food banks, meals-on-wheels, soup kitchens, retirement homes, and churches instead of composting. I hate wasting good food when someone else could enjoy it.
I like green tomato relish on fried green tomatoes. Maybe you could use the squash relish on fried zucchini?
Use it as an accompaniment to almost any meat. Add some to meatloaf or meatball mixtures for a flavour change, or use it as a glaze for meatloaf. Toss a bit into any stew. Mix some with sour cream or yoghurt to make a dip. Put on sandwiches as a spread - great with meats or cheese. Serve on the side with curries (as you would a chutney). Add a little to mayonnaise for a flavour change. Add some to a cheese-y muffin or scone mix. Use in hamburgers. Send some to me. Lots of ways to use it!
I was thinking about what Jim said and I remembered this wonderful woman who would bring home-grown produce to Starbucks for us baristas to take home. It was the biggest treat in the world. I think the best recipients would be younger people who maybe can't afford to buy lots of produce but do like to cook, so the employees of a vegetarian store or restaurant might be good too. Or college students.
Jim, good idea about gasoline from zucchini. People could donate their extras, kind of like a victory garden for the current war.
I like the idea of zucchinihol from the zucchini haul.
Ha! That's funny, whynotmi. Maybe shorten it to zucchihol, so it rolls off the tongue easier.
I agree with everyone about giving away the surplus to those who will use it. I guess my reason for not mentioning it was that I assumed there was still a surplus after giving away as much as possible. I give extra veggies to my friends and neighbors and they appreciate it. Sometimes it's hard to give away zucchini at the height of the season, especially the baseball bat sized ones. That's why we have the jokes about stealth giving. I have often thought of trying to organize donations from our community garden. Unfortunately, it's one of those things I have not gotten around to yet.
Just wanted to say I love the zucchinihol idea. I'm sure there's a way!
And that I second your post about remembering not to feel beholden to your garden. I came to gardening as a hobby late in life and kind of warily, frequently saying to my friends, "I might decide I don't like doing this after all and give it all up, you know!" Like a lot of people, especially, I think, a lot of women, I can be hit by a sense of duty even when it's irrational, so I've been very intentional about keeping guilt at bay when it comes to not using all a garden crop or not caring for it as well as I might, etc.; my mantra is "The garden is there to comfort ME, not the other way around." If I plant out tomatoes even on a too-hot day when I don't feel like it, I want it to be for the future gratification of picking them, not because I feel I "owe it to them."
So, same idea with the abundant squash. Eat what you can, can what you can, give away what you can (but that's not always easy, as you say, in high season, and things like organizing donations in a community take work and time), but any time all of the above stop feeling like fun and start feeling like a pain in the $**))@!, then pitch it into the compost with a clean conscience. (It will reward you by growing a volunteer or two out of the compost pile next year that will do better than any cultured plant, and start the cycle again...)
P.S. The only thing we use relish for is a bit of a zing in tuna or egg or potato salad. My husband won't eat pickle products in general, but he insists on a bit of relish in his tuna sandwich.
You got my point precisely, Zabby. Thanks for letting me know. I like your philosophy.
Something in your post reminds me of a joke (I won't bother to post it entirely) which includes the line, "We eat what we can and what we can't we can".
Try tossing some of that relish (especially dill relish) with some caraway seeds into homemade bread! Yummy!
Sweet relish can be used a glaze on pork or chicken.
Dill relish mixed with lemon pepper over fish.
Ground turkey burgers with dill relish mixed in.
Use sweet relish to make your own 1000 Island salad dressing.
Dill goes into tuna salad, potato and mac salads here.
And Tartar sauce.
And next year you won't need to make relish!! LOL
Seriously, you can rotate your crops to simplify the growing, harvesting and preserving process. Use a two year cycle rather than one.
Jim: Love the zucchinihol idea! We are "blessed" with wild blackberries everywhere and I've always said we should find a way to make rope or fabric or something from them!!
whynotmi: "Zucchinihol from your zucchini haul" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (I almost blew coffee all over my monitor!)
I grow things in alternate years, as well. Last year it was zucchini and summer squash. All that we didn't use during last summer, I shredded and froze in ziplock sandwich-sized bags. If I want to make zucchini bread, or pasta primavera or zucchini grinders, or even zucchini jam, all I have to do is thaw out a bag.
This year I'm growing okra. Someone sent me seed for what she thought was "Cowhorn okra" -- a family heirloom. I wasn't sure how old the seed was, so I planted it all. HELLO! I've got a really thick patch of it and DH told me the other day I'd better gear up on using the zucchini to make room in the freezer for the okra! It will be blooming any day now.
I was thinking about growing pumpkin next year, but pumpkins are so cheap around halloween time that it seems a waste of time to grow it. I might grow corn, or...
Be sure to pickle some of that okra. It's good. I think you will find a recipe on this forum if you search for it.
Jim, my fellow relaxed gardener,
Indeed, if you can can, then can! ;-)
It's true that pumpkins are cheap to buy in the fall, and they take a lot of room to grow. But oh, my goodness, they are a lot of fun to have in the garden. I succumb to the urge to grow one every few years. When they get going, they grow so darned FAST it is truly hilarious (and really exciting if you have kids). You can see a huge difference literally from day to day, first in the length of the vines and then in the size of the pumpkins.
This year I decided to try a "Snackjack" pumpkin, which has hull-less seeds (the easier to eat), to maximize the harvest bang for my garden buck. But I was too stingy about space to give it a prime garden spot and it's languishing in the shadiest bed at the back with the beans. So it's currently a smaller plant than the summer squash. I may or may not get anything out of it.... Next year I think I'll try some long-vined mini-pumpkins in a sunny bed but trained up a trellis to maximize use of space.
We make a good hot/sweet relish, and I take about half a pint and dump it on a bar of cream cheese. Serve with crackers at a party. People love it. I was hoping to find some more ideas here... but no such luck!
I like zucchini relish on plain, steamed zucchini. Sounds weird, but is good :).
Zucchini relish is my favorite! I was not much of a relish eater before I discovered this one. I can lots of it and use it more than any other kind. IN: potato salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, ham salad, pasta salads, on burgers, hot dogs, with cottage cheese. I may interchange this with pepper relish - my 2nd favorite. A couple years ago my daughter suggested I make a tomato relish & I made way too much of that, perhaps I will try putting it in soups like someone suggested. I also made a beet relish & am wondering how to use that up. I have way too much relish in my pantry and now that I am gluten free and don't eat bread the way I used to, sandwiches are not an option. How would some of you use tomato or beet relish?