“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
The garden at Sweet Harvest is starting to produce many fine vegetables. Tomatoes, cucumbers and squash are ripe and ready to be picked. The herbs are growing in profusion and the basil that was cut early this morning was made into my favorite summertime salad dressing. It will be delicious over a bed of freshly picked greens for a light evening meal.
Our evenings are spent outside, watching the sunset from chairs strategically placed at a clearing on our land for the best view. Sometimes we celebrate the day’s splendid end with a glass of chilled wine and linger long enough to watch the lightening bugs start looking for their mates with their bright blinking. That is when I like to leave my chair and sit on the ground at the base of an ancient hickory tree. Leaning against that old tree gives me a sense of well- being and protection. It is warm and comforting and the tiny lights from the blinking beetles in the leaves are like having a twinkling light show, just for me.
Summertime is my favorite season of all. Of course, I’ll probably say that about autumn, winter and spring once they arrive, but for now, I am blissfully soaking in the sweetness of summertime.
With the abundance of yellow squash from the garden, I enjoy making a relish that goes well with just about anything. It is sweet and tangy and makes a delicious accompaniment to beans, sausages and oddly enough, it makes a great sandwich spread.
The recipe for Summer Squash Relish was given to me by Mrs. Dora Efird and has become a family favorite. This is sure to become a favorite in your home too! I have relatives that ask for this as their Christmas present every year.
- 10 cups shredded yellow summer squash
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 6 tablespoons canning salt
- 4 cups sugar
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon each celery seed, ground mustard and ground turmeric
In a large pot, combine sugar, vinegar and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add squash mixture; onions and green pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Carefully ladle hot mixture into six hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Refrigerate remaining relish for up to 1 week. Yield: 6 pints.
*I will have jars of this Summer Squash Relish made up to sell at the Locust Farmers Market this Thursday, June 30th if you would rather buy some ready made.*
Thank you all for taking the time to let me know that you enjoy reading my column. Writing about our little homestead brings me so much joy and sharing with like-minded people like you, is icing on the cake!
That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week