April 18th, 2008
Work at Home Business Idea for Homeschoolers #1, Condiment Making
Or Make Your Own Relish – Frugal Friday
This is a combination post! A bit of cooking, small family home business idea, saving money, and homesteading all in one! It is also a combination of authors, Larry originated the post idea and wrote much of it, I edited, filled in a few details and supplied the recipe.
Over the years our family has had many small home based business to earn extra money and allow us to stay at home, and I would like to share with other home schooling families some of our experiences.
The first home business idea I’d like to share is making food stuff at home and then selling it at farmer markets or other venues like that – local fairs, craft shows etc. Our families first experience with selling food items would be my wife Jennifer when she was a small girl and helped her mother to make and sell home baking, my sisters also did this as a way of earning their pocket money. My our experience started back in the late 1980’s when I had a few honey bees and sold honey at the local farmers market. I very much enjoyed keeping bees and selling the honey.
What I want to share in this post is the business opportunity to make and sell condiments (relish, jams, pickles etc.). While we were down visiting my family, my mother had bought some relish at the local farmers market and we all enjoyed it very much. My oldest daughter liked it very much but we found out that it had wheat flour in it and she has a very hard time with wheat. So I asked Jen to look on the Internet for a recipe to make our own, she found a recipe and we took a morning to make some, replacing the wheat with rice flour. It was a great hit, our first batch was so close to the relish my mother had bought that we knew we had something our whole family could enjoy.
Now the reason that I thought this would be a great home based business was when I sat down and crunched the numbers. The relish my mother bought was $7.50 for a one pint jar and the lady making it has a hard time keeping up with the demand. We had made 17 pints that morning following the recipe we got off the Internet and the ingredients cost about $30.00 not counting the jars. So 17 times $7.50 is $127.50 less the ingredients is $97.50 then you have to take out the cost of the jars at $.65 each times 17 giving you $16.35 for a net total of $81.15 – not bad for about 4 hours in the kitchen, that is $20.28/hour!
*This is also my Frugal Friday post! Making your own condiments saves a LOT of money over buying it at the store. Our family could not afford $7.50/jar of relish at likely 1 jar/week at the way our family eats it! Making your own brings the cost down to $2.00/jar (not counting the jars, which are re-usable), which is far more affordable! And there is a very high vegetable content in this relish, which is wonderful!*
Of course, you may need to take your fuel and marketing costs out as well ?. If you grow your own veggies you could half your ingredient costs, and then you could add other kinds of relish, pickles and jams. Depending upon the regulations in the part of the world where you live you may need to prepare the condiments in a commercial kitchen (either one in your home, or you can rent space in some locations) in order to sell at a farmers market. Here in Alberta that is the way food regulations are going, so you should check into the requirements in your state/province for small scale food processing. People love home made condiments and there is no end to the kinds you can make.
If you have teenage daughters this is a wonderful business idea for them! It is simple, fun, and profitable!
So here is the recipe for the relish we made (we did modify the recipe we found, so this is the revision) if all you do is try a batch for yourself you will I hope find it very enjoyable, just be careful who you give a jar to for they will want more. Jennifer’s grandparents just adore it, we shared some with them on our visit to the city yesterday, and they will be needing more on our next visit for certain!
Lady Rose Relish Recipe
This is the recipe that we will be using next time as a result of our learning experiences – the batch we made this time is slightly different, but we’d like it better with these changes.
4 cups of chopped, peeled cucumbers
4 cups chopped, peeled onions
2 heads celery, cut fine
3 sweet red peppers, cut fine
3 green peppers, cut fine
1 large cauliflower, cut fine
5 cups white vinegar
6 ¾ cups white sugar (we used organic which is ‘tan’ sugar)
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup rice flour (you can also use wheat)
4 tbsp. dry mustard powder
2 tbsp. turmeric powder
¼ cup salt
Wash, peel and trim all vegetables as needed. Either cut fine by hand, with a chopper, or in the food processor with the chopping blade (we used a food processor – the girls loved helping!) to get the above measures necessary for the recipe.
Place all ingredients in a non-reactive pot (we used stainless steel), stir well and let stand for 24 hours. Heat until the relish comes to a boil, stir regularly to prevent burning. Pour into scalded canning jars, leaving ½” headspace, and ensuring that the rim is wiped clean, place scalded seals and rings on jars, sealing until finger tight. Place jars in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on counter undisturbed for 24 hours. Tighten any loose rings, and put any unsealed jars into the fridge for immediate consumption.