It's that time of year - the last harvest of the season. We had a possible frost coming so we finally picked the last of the above ground vegetables from the garden. We had a lot, and I mean a lot (for us), of green tomatoes and peppers - a whole dishpan full and heaping. So I started pondering what we could make that would add to our stores that we would enjoy. This is what I came up with. I hope we do enjoy it. If not, it will be another good learning experience that turned out tasting yucky.
The recipe we used calls for chunks of tomatoes and
peppers in this Pickled Green Tomato-Pepper Mix, but we would rather have a relish, so we grated them up. I started off by cutting the tomatoes in half and taking
the seeds out of the peppers. Then they had to wait a day or two in the refrigerator before I had time to get them canned. And this morning I had to get the rest of the sweet potatoes dug since we have a frost warning for tonight. More about the sweet potato harvest later.
Out comes the KitchenAid for the grating. It works great. The only thing we had to watch for was the occasional chunk of tomato or pepper skin.
This recipe calls for:
7 lbs. green tomatoes (we had 13 1/2 lbs. so we adjusted the recipe accordingly)
12 cups peppers (we used a combination of Anaheim, Bell and Corno Di Toro Red Sweet Pepper)
2 cups onions
1 clove garlic for each jar
1 tbsp salt
8 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar (we used 2/3 cup)
First bring the vinegar, water and sugar to a boil. Then add:
1/4 cup pickling spices
2 tbsp. mustard seed
Many recipes call for tying up the spices in a piece of cheese cloth. I have discovered that putting them in a tea ball works great.
Allow to boil gently for 10 minutes. Then add the tomato mixture and return to a boil for 10 more minutes.
I enjoyed being able to use some of the garlic we harvested back in the summer. This is from our first ever garlic harvest. We didn't get a lot, but we actually were able to grow and harvest some which I thought was just great.
We ended up with two batches. Here is the last batch after 15 minutes in the water bath canner.
I find it amazing that we put up another 13 pints of food from part of the last harvest of the garden. This is food we were not planning on or counting on. It is like a bonus treat straight from God. As I pondered this mound of food during the week, I knew it needed to be made into something we could eat and enjoy in the coming months. I just hope this did the trick.
I can't begin to tell you how much we have learned from our gardening and canning adventures this year. It has been a great time of determined, intensive learning. We know how important these skills are and have been grateful for the time we have been given to learn them in comfort. This is also still a time when failure at a crop or canning session is still an option. The day will soon come when it may not be. A failed crop or failed attempt at preserving food may one day be a matter of life and death. We are truly grateful for the opportunity we have been given to learn. Take advantage of every chance you get.
Until next time - Fern