Can it forward day. A giveaway!

Happy international can it forward day! I hope that you all canned something today and/or ate something that you had canned to celebrate. To me, can it forward day is basically everyday, as I love to get others on to the canning train. I didn’t actually can today, because I just got home from a conference late last night, but zucchini relish and tomato sauce are on the roster for tomorrow. But anyways that brings me to the reason for this post. A can it forward day giveaway!! Pictured below are my giveaway items. I’ve decide to include 4 canned goodies, the zesty zucchini relish and tomato sauce are the two pint size jars, and you will get the fresh stuff I make tomorrow. The half pints are strawberry jam and Victorian barbecue sauce. Yum yum yum. The other exciting thing is that I will be giving away a copy of So Easy to Preserve, which is written by the University of Georgia extension service. This book is an amazing resource with many scientifically tested and trusted recipes. The one caveat, however, is that they are coming out with a new edition at the end of the month so I don’t yet have this book in my possession. What that means is I will likely ship (or give to in person depending who wins) the winner the other prizes first, followed by the book when it comes out. But what this does mean is you’ll be getting the most up to date awesome recipes!


OK here is how to enter. There are going to actually be multiple ways that you can enter this contest. First you will receive one entry for commenting on this page and telling us who first introduced you to canning. Was it a parent or grandparent, a friend, or something you just started doing on your own? I love to hear how people got started, so that will earn you an entry. You can also earn an entry by liking the babbling botanist Facebook page and inviting others to do so. In the spirit of canning it forward I’d like to be able to reach more people and Facebook is a great way to do so. This is going to get complicated for me to tally up, but this is my plan. Anyone you invite gets an entry, but it also earns you an entry if they post the name of the person that invited them like my page on my Facebook wall. I hope this doesn’t get too confusing for everyone involved, but I’m going to give it a shot! The contest will close on the one year anniversary of me starting this blog, August 22 2014 at 9pm Pacific time.

Happy canning! And sorry, but I can ship to Canada and USA only.

Thanks y’all, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

Zesty Zucchini Relish

If you have zucchinis growing in your garden, by mid summer you are probably desperate like me for new and exciting ways to use them up. This zucchini relish, modified from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is a delicious way to do just that. I am not a huge fan of the sweet commercial relishes, so tried a small batch of this at first, but it is so good (not sweet, it has a nice ZESTY flavour). I had to make more! Awesome on hot dogs or sausages!


12 cups finely chopped zucchini
4 cups chopped onions
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup of canning salt
2.5 cups granulated sugar
2.5 cups white vinegar
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 chili pepper, including seeds, chopped

The recipe also calls for 4 tbsp prepared horseradish, but I find horseradish’s flavour screams “Hi I am horseradish, I am ALL you can taste,” so I leave it out. If you like it though, it could be a nice addition to the recipe. Makes about 5 pints.

Here is what I did:

Finely chop the zucchini. 12 cups took me freaking forever though, so I might recommend trying to whip this up in a food processor. I just like the little cubes, but it was a lot of chopping.


Chop the green and red bell pepper, onion and mix them together with the zucchini and the salt.

Cover and leave in a cool place overnight (12 ish hours).


The next day, rinse the mixture off in a colander. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Get your hands in there and squeeze a handful at a time, and put it in a pot.


Add the vinegar, sugar, chili pepper, turmeric and nutmeg (and if you want horseradish) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.


Continue to boil the relish over medium heat. After about 45 minutes or so it should be a pretty good consistency.

While the mixture is boiling down, prepare the canner, jars and lids.


Fill the jars, leaving a half inch heat space. Debubble the jars, wipe the rims, place on the lids and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Processing time is 15 minutes for this recipe. Place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a full rolling boil. After the 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing the jars to a hot pad or towel. Listen to the delightful ping of the jars sealing!


Mmmmmm relish.


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