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Keep in the Family

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By Renee-Lucie Benoit | Sep 28, 2018

I just got back from a long awaited trip to visit my sister who lives in the Rockies. My cousin was also there and she had driven in from Illinois.

In the course of a week we caught up on old times and revisited cherished memories while we watched old Super 8 movies and poured over slides that my mom and dad had taken in the 50s of our whole extended family. In the midst of all this wonderful nostalgia my sister walked in with a book. “Look at this,” she said.

I kind of got bug eyed. It was my mother’s old Joy of Cooking written by Irma S. Rombauer that was published in 1943.

This was the 4th printing. The first printing was in 1931.

Safely tucked into the pages was the lost recipe for my grandmother’s wonderful homemade corn relish.

Frieda’s Corn Relish (exactly as written)

Ingredients:

  • 15 ears corn cut from the cob
  • 1 medium size cabbage shredded
  • 5 onions size of walnuts
  • 6 green sweet peppers or part red ones
  • 1 large bunch of celery
  • 7 medium size ripe tomatoes (peeled)
  • 1/4 cup salt (Ed. Note: Not sure; partly obscured so go easy and taste test a little bit at a time)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 quart Heinz cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds

Instructions:

  1. Cook about 20 min. after it starts to boil, stirring so it won’t stick to the bottom (Ed. note: I’m assuming add everything to a large stainless steel pot).
  2. Can hot in scalded jars and seal tight. One can add sugar and salt to suit taste — I make it pretty sweet (Ed. note: bone up on your canning skills before attempting this).
  3. Cut celery in small chunks, remove seeds from peppers, and run cel., onions; and peppers thru food chopper. Use slaw cutter for cabbage.

My grandmother’s corn relish recipe takes me back to days of the groaning table on which she offered homemade ham, butter rolls, green beans and almonds, jello salad and pie for dessert. Even now I can see in my mind’s eye her large dining table spread with a white lace table cloth, these special flowered plates she had and cut glass drinking glasses.

We had many a wonderful meal at that table and everybody was always happy. Definitely something to “Keep in the family”!


Photos property of Renee Lucie Benoit.

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