Saturday, October 25, 2008

Green Tomato Pickles (updated)

This one's from

4 quarts sliced green tomatoes
1 quart sliced yellow onion
1 quart sliced red (or yellow or orange) bell pepper
1 cup pickling salt

First, realize your tomatoes are not going to ripen before this year's first frost. Accept the inevitable and pick them for canning as-is.

After slicing and salting let sit for 4-6 hours (to remove excess moisture). Drain off and discard the salty water. Add to the tomatoes/onions/peppers:

2 lbs brown sugar
6 cups vinegar
1/3 cup mustard seed
1/4 cup celery seed
1 tsp black pepper
And, in a bag:
1 tb allspice
1 tsp cloves

Bring it all to a boil then simmer for another 20 minutes. Put it in sterilized glass jars—add a dried red chili to each jar for a spicy kick—and process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.

Now to me, that sounds like a lot of brown sugar. Two pounds? Jesus. Since I'm sick today and not venturing outside, I'm making this now in my kitchen. I'm going to try it with half the sugar called for; I'll let you know how that turns out.


Well, I ended up using all two pounds of sugar called for; those salt-kissed tomatoes looked like they needed it. But I tossed that recipe in the trash. Why? Boiling those tomatoes results in tomato mush. Tried it again with tomato wedges placed in the sterilized jars with the pickling solution poured on top. Better, but I still ended up with over a quart of pickling solution. Made some more pickles, still had solution left. Finally got tired and poured it onto the compost heap and gave the rest of the green tomatoes away on Craigslist. Oh, well!

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