2013 Food Preservation Season: Corn Relish

August 28, 2013 · 2 comments

corn relish // Wayward Spark

What: Corn Relish

Main ingredients and where I got them: The corn, onions, and celery came from my parents’ farm, and the sweet peppers came from Gathering Together Farm.

How much: 17 pints

Recipe: from the USDA publication “Making Pickles and Relishes at Home” published in 1978 (But don’t worry. I double checked that the boiling time is still safe)

yield: ~8 pints

2 quarts fresh corn kernels (8-9 big ears)
1 quart sweet red pepper, diced
1 quart celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced or sliced
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric

Husk the corn and boil it for five minutes. Plunge the cobs into cold water. Cut the kernels off the cobs.

Combine peppers, celery, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt, and celery seed in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cover until it starts to boil, and then boil for five minutes uncovered. Mix mustard and turmeric with a little of the cooking liquid and then add it back to the mixture. Add the corn kernels. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Scoop/pour the relish into sterilized jars leaving 1/2″ headspace, wipe the rims, top with lids, and screw on rings until finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

making corn relish // Wayward Spark

sweet corn // Wayward Spark

Other Comments:

I made this stuff for the first time during my tremendously overzealous canning phase back in college (that I wrote about in a guest post over on Food in Jars). Unlike many of the other fruits and vegetables that I preserved but never ended up eating, this corn relish was long gone by the time spring rolled around. It’s great on eggs and salads, and I’d bet it would really perk up a boring lentil stew-type dish.

It’s so much more pleasant to do the corn cooking and cutting outside if you have the space and facilities. I wrote about my setup in this old blog post about freezing corn.

I wanted to buy a nice new knife recently, so I went to the local fancy kitchen store to check out their selection. I know knives are expensive and that they’re worth it, but when I realized that the knife I wanted would be nearly $200, I almost left empty handed. Then I noticed that they had this Wüsthof Santuko knife for $40. Yes, it has a plastic handle and is probably inferior to the $200 knives in other ways, but I’ve been using it nonstop for a week, and I’m in love. It worked great on the corn.

This is part of a collection of posts documenting my food preservation activities this summer/fall (more info here). Please feel free to comment with a link to food preservation activities on your own blogs or links to recipes you’re following or you’d like to try from other blogs. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline August 29, 2013 at 5:48 am

Hi Camille, your recipe has me thinking that my children would like this. (They love corn). How well do your children receive it? My kids are about the same age as yours. Can you also give me some examples of the meals that you serve where you incorporate this? Do you make your own apple cider vinegar? Thanks a lot!


sarah birchmoon August 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm

yummmm! I am totally doing this. Each week I get corn at the market, I buy extra to freeze to put away, this weekend I am making this! thanks for sharing, Sarah


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