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Mayhaw Man

The Relish Tray

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my Whole Foods is carrying along with the multi colored radishes they have.....this year's relish tray will be about color.

Definitely an idea whose time has arrived! I, too, concur that color is a good theme for the relish tray! :biggrin:

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Relish Tray!!! Hell yes!! Lesfen family relish tray includes:

Dill Pickles (no one in the family likes sweet (or brean 'n butter) pickles

Green Olives

Black Olives (size not important... we'll make 'em fit on our fingers)

Pickled Cauliflower

Hot Peppers

That's it. The problem... no one in the family has canned peppers or cauliflower since my Uncle Tom passed away. I don't know what we're gonna do when our supply runs out... which will probably be this year. :sad:

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PIMIENTO CHEESE STUFFED CELERY

black olives

stuffed green olives

Baby carrots pickled by Justin Wilson's Copper Penny recipe

Tiny dill-brined green grape tomatoes from the Summer garden

cauliflower, ditto

red grape tomatoes

Green onions

watermelon rind pickles

tender yellow celery center stalks with leaves

This is in addition to the tray of sliced tomatoes, from the several boxes in the storeroom. I've been unwrapping them all every few days to check for ripeness. Hope to have some for the Christmas table, as well.

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Oh, we had (still have) the relish tray, too (in deep, deep South Louisiana). My mother's cut glass relish trays came in clear, frosted, and the groovy, dark-green hobnail pattern (which had a matching devilled egg dish). She's still living, so I had to buy my cut-glass relish tray at the thrift store for $2. Our relish tray is usually stocked with 1)cornichons & pickled pearl onions 2)kalamata or other good black olives 3)pickled okra or pickled green beans 4)homemade hot pickled carrot sticks. Depending on whether she uses the big tray or the smaller one, this stuff is sometimes supplemented with her pecan cheese spread (no pimentos, sorry) or some cream-cheese & pickapepper sauce (or pepper jelly). Funny! We always devour the whole thing, despite the other delicacies about to be served during dinner.

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This year at Christmas I will have the last of my favorite relish tray ingredients...pickeled beets. My grandma (Tutu Bonnie, the more Southern one) always puts on these yummy, vinegary, cinnamony, not too mushy variety that her neigbor made, but said neighbor died a few months ago (at the age of 93!) and Tutu just told me she's down to her last jar. I've never found a recipe like this one and the neighbor was super protective of hers. Thses beets REQUIRE the sectioned cut-glass container or you end up with pink celery and carrots.

Grandmama (my other, Northern, grandma) always puts hot pickled cauliflower on her tray an ripe green olives instead of black ones.

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Down to the last quart, REDUX:

Last year, we had a bumper crop of grape tomatoes---the first we'd ever grown. As the Fall days drew in, and the nights threatened frost, we picked all the little green fellows---hundreds of them, and pickled them in my Dad's famous Icewater Dill brine. We had several quarts, and they are so pretty, with little garnishes of garlic cloves and red pepper flakes and a big ole bouquet from the very top of the grown-head-high dill plants.

So these two Thanksgivings, we've had a little nest of them in one of the sections of the relish tray. Newcomers look, either take them for olives, or ask before trying one. They pop them into their mouths, crunch down on that dilly, salty, green-tomato flavor, and they're hooked. We opened the second quart of them this year, after the tray had been emptied twice. And one guest went back to the buffet during dessert, loading his beautifully-arranged 5-prissy-desserts-arranged-just-SO plate with the drippy little round globes. I swear, the briny juice ran right underneath the slice of sweet potato pie, but he scarfed up every crumb and glop on that plate.

I've made green tomato pickles before, usually in slices (lime pickle recipe, crisp and sweetly spicy) or in halves (same dill recipe, just not so cute, with more of the greenacid trueness of the unripe tomato). But these little balls are so addictive, and so very near their extinction, I've hidden the jar far in the back of the top shelf, behind the strained-up cooking oil, congealed in its big green jar, and the bottles of fancy Chinese seasonings and sauces.

I don't think I'll "put them out" on a tray again before next year's canning frenzy. I'll just leave them as a nice memory, lurking there in the darkness, awaiting a late-night crave which will make the unloading, loading, clinking of all the spare bottles and jars worthwhile, just for that one dripping, salty, satisfying, tongue-curling CHOMP. :wub:

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We had a new addition to our relish tray this year. My aunt canned hot peppers in a mixture of what appears to be garlic, onion, tomato, and maybe paprika? They were ok, but they really came to life with a sprinkling of salt. I managed to snag a jar for myself and I keep finding myself standing in my kitchen, fridge door open, fork in hand, salt shaker within reach, munching away. Yum.

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I often make a "relish tray" because I believe it's a great appetizer/hors d'oeuvres, and it goes wonderfully with aperitifs as well.

 

But when I'm cooking for just Significant Eater and myself, I'll usually make each of us an individual tray plate - that way neither of us gets shortchanged if we turn our back ;) !

 

30772951427_8ecec84aac.jpg

 

From the top, clockwise, carrot sticks, celery sticks, pickled beets, pickled turnips, a cherry tomato, green olives. (I def could've drained the beets a little better).

 

Both the pickles are from The Pickle Guys, not some hipster pickle making joint in Brooklyn.

 

 


Edited by weinoo (log)
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