Courgette Relish

I’ve been wanting to try out a recipe a friend passed on to me on a self-sufficiency/self-reliance forum a while back and today we had enough courgettes and other ingredients to do it.

Put 500g courgettes, thinly sliced, and three small onions, also thinly sliced, in a bowl of cold water with 3 tablespoons of cooking salt (the non-iodised sort) as a brine mix. Leave for 1 hour.

While that’s sitting, put 500ml of cider vinegar in a pan with 140g caster sugar, 1 small tin sweetcorn (ours was with added peppers), 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and 3 thinly-sliced garlic cloves. Bring the mix gently to the boil and allow to simmer for 3 minutes, ensuring all the sugar and spices are dissolved, then set aside to cool.

After an hour, drain the courgettes and onions, pat dry gently with kitchen paper to avoid diluting the pickling liquid, then add to the pan and stir until everything’s thoroughly mixed and coated in the fluid. Bottle and leave to cool completely before putting in the fridge; it should keep at least 3 weeks.

Courgette Relish

Courgette Relish

Yesterday my vacuum packer/sealer finally arrived – a sordid saga of couriers losing parcels in transit – so to familiarise myself with the controls I vacuum packed some dog-biscuits, ready for when the whippets go into kennels in a few weeks (we’re away on holiday for a week, so the dogs get to go stay in a pet hotel and be adored by fresh humans).

It’

The vacuum sealer.

The vacuum sealer.

It’s not the biggest and most sophisticated gadget in the world, but it does a very satisfactory job of turning a handful of dog kibble into this:-

Vacuum-packed dog biscuits.

Vacuum-packed dog biscuits.

Having tried it out with dog food, I then packed some hiking meals (dried eggs, dried mushrooms, dried onion, dried potato – just add water and stir for instant food on the trail!), some hot chocolate powder (one-portion servings for hiking drinks) and tried out the bag-seal-only function on the latest 500g of peas going into the freezer.

It all works.

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