Relish the Day

Unless I’m mistaken, it seems we can’t do everything. The belief that anything is possible seems to fuel me, but it’s an illusion or maybe a delusion and anyway, most of the time it’s productive. My husband makes this jalapeño and onion relish. It’s gorgeous. Sweet, spicy, oily, and savory all at once. He created it a few years ago just by mixing things up and voilà!

So, we had grand designs to can this stuff up using the pressure canner and have it for all year-round. Upon searching for a comparable recipe in terms of style and content so we could determine how many minutes at whatever pounds pressure is recommended, we found that it simply should not be done. We referenced and cross referenced, read passages aloud to each other. Searched through the multitudes of cookbooks, blogs, and government websites (go to the question about canning herbs and pesto and then to the question about canning butter). What we found was that even though pressure canning is for low-acid foods and we did indeed have that, oils have to be at a minimum because apparently oil protects Clostridium botulinum (botulism, for the uninitiated). At first, I thought the issue was that oil could prevent a proper seal by getting in between the cap and the jar and that we’d just check the seals when we were done. But, alas, there is a more compelling problem.

And now we are jarring it up, tossing it into the fridge, taking a jar to the neighbor’s house, and smothering our dinners with it. Incidentally, baked potato fries with a slice of Daiya, the jalapeño relish, and homemade coconut “bacon” is decadent. So while we mourned, we mourned in style.

-To your health,