Sadly, the end of the growing season coincides with the beginning of the school year. Both the ending of one, and the beginning of the other are an enormous amount of work. In the past, I have kept the end of the growing season simple. This year I planted a large garden, and I am attempting to preserve as much as possible.
I am not sure why I thought I would be able to manage doing canning the weekend before the students arrived at school…during a pandemic. Sometimes I just do things and worry about the details as I go. This past weekend I had many plates spinning and I struggled with keeping up. Of course I decided to can a double batch of zucchini relish. In the morning I shredded zucchini and onions so I could add salt and let the excess fluid drain from the vegetables. Two of my large zucchinis were still in the garden, so I prepared the two I had in the house, and promised myself I would retrieve the other two from the garden.
Laundry, dishes, paperwork, and texts and messages from numerous people kept me busy throughout the day. I rushed to get the canning process completed because I had a Zoom meeting later in the evening. Since I had planned for a double batch, I had premeasured double the amount of sugar, vinegar, and spices. I cooked it and waited for it to thicken. I then added the zucchini. As the zucchini was cooking in the vinegar and sugar, it took on a dark brown color. I didn’t remember that coloring when I had seen it before. The longer it cooked, the more I realized something was wrong. That is when I remembered my plan of shredding more zucchini…oops.
Double the salt, onion, pepper, vinegar, sugar, nutmeg, dry mustard, corn starch, and turmeric, but a single amount of zucchini. What had I made?
What I have created is a type of zucchini chutney. It will be fantastic on a cracker with cheese! It is a regular delicacy. I brought a jar to a friend at work and he thinks it is the greatest mistake he has tasted in a long time.
Sometimes complete failures end up being a delicious mistake!