Last month, Jean Wilson wrote in looking for a sweet yellow hotdog relish she remembered from childhood that included cream as a rather unusual ingredient. We haven't found anything with cream, even after scouring the Internet and various cookbooks.
We do have a recipe from Margaret Robert of Ste. Agathe, who has been making a Million-Dollar Relish for 35 years that uses vegetables and seasonings similar to the ones Jean recalls. This is a garden-clearing preserve packed with cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers and onions. (Margaret has planted extra cukes this year, as her children tend to raid her pantry.) We also have a recipe for a quick Refrigerator Corn Relish that would be good with hotdogs.
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8 large cucumbers, unpeeled
1 large cauliflower
4 large onions
2 sweet green peppers
2 sweet red peppers
125 ml (1/2 cup) pickling salt
175 ml (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) turmeric
15 ml (1 tbsp) mustard seed
15 ml (1 tbsp) celery seed
900 ml (4 cups) white vinegar
250 ml (1 cup) water
1.8 l (8 cups) granulated sugar
Put vegetables through a food chopper or grinder. Place in large bowl, cover with pickling salt and let stand overnight. In the morning, drain well.
Make dressing: In a large heavy pot over medium heat, combine flour, spices, vinegar, water and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken. Add well-drained vegetables and cook 20 minutes longer. Fill sterilized canning jars and seal. (Novice canners should consult a cookbook or cooking website for full instructions on proper canning techniques.)
Tester's notes: A tasty relish. I don't have a hand-grinder so I used my food processor with the grating attachment, which probably chopped the vegetables just a little too finely. Next time I would probably chop them by hand. I also ended up with a high dressing-to-vegetables ratio (maybe because the cukes I used were on the small side). I just strained out the last of the vegetables and left some of the liquid in the pot to get a good consistency. I might cut back on the sugar a bit, as this recipe makes a very sweet relish.
500 ml (2 cups) corn kernels (cut from about 3-4 ears of corn)
125 ml (1/2 cup) diced sweet red pepper
125 ml (1/2 cup) diced white onion
80 ml (1/3 cup) apple cider vinegar
45 ml (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
2 ml (1/2 tsp) mustard seeds
1 ml (1/4 tsp) celery seeds
1 ml (1/4 tsp) hot red pepper flakes
1 ml (1/4 tsp) turmeric
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornstarch
15 ml (1 tbsp) water
In medium saucepan, combine corn, red pepper and onion. Stir in vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, hot red pepper flakes and turmeric. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water in a cup and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to saucepan and cook until mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Ladle into a 500 ml (2-cup) canning jar. Seal with lid and let stand 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour, before opening. Store in the fridge and use within 1 month.
Tester's notes: A crisp, fresh-tasting relish, and very easy.
Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.
Updated on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM CDT: replaces photo