Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zucchinis gone wild!

Every couple of days now, I am harvesting a basket of squashes that look like this:

That, my friends, is a lot of zucchini and some yellow straightnecks mixed in for good measure. Much as I love squash I must admit that their attraction is beginning to pall a bit.

Part of the problem with zucchinis is that if you turn your back for five minutes, they go from this -

To this -

On left are the two fruits pictured in the close-up above and, for comparison, on right are two fruits that I turned my back on for five minutes. They can grow to melon-sized proportions almost overnight.

Even the large zucchinis, though, can still be used to make relish and that's what I've been doing lately. My kitchen has turned into a veritable relish factory!

We've also been eating a lot of squash in roast veggie combos and stir-fries and in soups, but my main strategy for dealing with the bountiful harvest has been this relish recipe.


□ 12 cups coarsely ground zucchini, unpeeled
□ 5 medium onions
□ 1 green bell pepper
□ 1 red bell pepper
□ 5 tablespoons salt
□ 3 cups sugar
□ 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
□ 2 tablespoons cornstarch
□ 1 teaspoon mustard seed
□ 1 teaspoon turmeric
□ 2 tablespoons celery seeds

Coarsely grind the onions and peppers. Stir in zucchini and salt. Cover and allow to sit for 3 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Combine the remaining ingredients to make a syrup, boiling until sugar dissolves and mixture has thickened. Add to vegetables and cook for 20 minutes.

Ladle into hot canning jars, adjust seals. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This makes 8 pints or 16 half-pints of relish.

As always, I would advise sampling the syrup before you add the vegetables to make sure it is to your taste. At that point, you can always add a little vinegar or a little sugar to adjust it to your liking.

When I'm completely burned out on relish-making, I may have to resort to stealthily leaving bags of zucchini on my neighbors' doorsteps at midnight. Probably, though, the squash borers will arrive in time to save my neighbors from that fate worse than death.


  1. I didn't start my squash early enough ... guess I was too busy cleaning up after winter! I giggled about your *stealth* missions at night ...I used to do this when we lived in New Mexico and one year, quite by accident, I had an entire backyard covered in pumpkins. Too funny! The relish recipe looks good.

  2. Those zucchinis are still coming and my energy is flagging so the stealth missions may begin soon, Snap. The relish is good. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try it.