One day, two zucchinis, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over. The uninjured zucchini called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able.
The injured zucchini was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery. After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured zucchini, "I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through." "The bad news is that he's going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life." (Source: www.jokes4us.com)
If you're a gardener, by now you are cursing yourself for planting so many zucchini plants. If you are a friend of a gardener, you are cursing yourself for being a friend of a gardener, put on a "grin-and-bear-it" smile and politely accept another shopping bag full of oversized zucchini.
OK, you can make zucchini bread, but try this recipe for sweet zucchini relish and you will quickly plow through that pile of zucchini. It is better than any store-bought pickle relish and it has a nice, not hot, but peppery bite to it. You may even look forward to the next visit from your gardening friend!
Sweet zucchini relish
10 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 pounds)
4 cups of chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup pickling salt or kosher salt (do not use table salt)
5 cups sugar
2 1/4 distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon black pepper
Combine zucchini, onion and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Rinse zucchini mixture in a colander. Drain well, squeeze dry and pat with a paper towel to further dry. The overnight salting is an important step as it draws the excess water from the zucchini, which allows the zucchini to retain a nice texture in the process and to prevent the mixture from being watery.
In a large, non-aluminum pot or dutch oven, combine the zucchini mixture, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, turmeric and pepper. Heat to a simmer and stir occasionally; cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sterilize 6 half-pint canning jars, lids and screw bands according to manufacturer's directions.
Ladle hot relish through a funnel into the hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with lids and screw on bands. Process jars for 15 minutes. If you've never canned before, a quick search online will offer all you need to know to prepare this recipe. Don't be put off by the process; it's easy and fun!