About Me

My photo
+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pickled Green Tomato Time

It is that time of the year, when gardens are dying down. At some point in the coming season, you will read or hear that a frost, or killer frost, is coming. If you planted indeterminent tomato plants, and have kept them fertilized, you quite possiblyl will have a nice crop of green tomatoes gowing and will want to harvest them before the frost hits. If your garden suffered the amount of rain mine did - you might not have tomatoes worth anything this year.

My GrandMa Garrett would gather the green tomatoes from her before frost and pickle them as a way to salvage the produce and still enjoy it at a later date. Why should we not follow suit?  FYI, some stores carry green tomatoes (in case you did not grow any and want some to fry or pickle)

The below recipe is more of a "Bread and Butter" flavor. That is sweet, not the bitter of dill pickles. There are tons of recipes out there for pickling anything that cannot outrun you (as my mother says). This is just one that I tried and thought it turned out pretty good.

For five pints of pickled green tomatoes you need:
  • 4 pounds completely green tomatoes
    • Do not use any that are showing even the slightest hint of ripening
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup pickling lime*
    • This is used to treat the tomatoes to keep them crips instead of sogg
  • 1 1/2 pounds onion
  • 5 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup pickling or other non-iodized salt
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a very large non-reactive **mixing bowl (do not use aluminum), mix the pickling lime and the water. The lime has a tendency to not dissolve completely and collect on the bottom of the bowl. Not to worry. It will still do the job.

Cut the tomatoes into moderately thin wedges and place in the lime-water mix. Stir gently to coat all of the tomatoes with lime solution. Cover and let the tomatoes soak 24 hours, stirring occasionally to mix up the lime.

Make sure you have clean jars, lids, and etc. prior to starting this part.

Following the 24 hour soaking period, use a colander to ***rinse the tomatoes thoroughly in cold water three or four times to remove all the lime. Some of the tomato seeds with rinse out and collect in the sink. Again, do not be concerned.

Peel the onions and cut them into thin strips, a bit thinner than the tomatoes.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, celery seed, peppercorns, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves in a processing pan or large heavy pot. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, uncovered for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and onions, bring to a boil again and continue cooking over moderate heat, pushing the vegetables down under the surface occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to look translucent, about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them.

Ladle the hot pickles into clean, hot, pint-sized canning jars leaving 1/4 inch of head/air-space and divide the spices among each of the jars. Use a dowel or the thin handle of a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles that may be lingering about the the pickles. Seal the canning jars with the typical two-piece lids according to the manufacturer's instructions and process for 10 minutes water bath. You can use a pasta pot with a built in strainer or purchase a canning pot / pressure canner. 

Allow the jars to cool, then label them (with either fancy labels or write with a "Sharpie" on the lid. Let the pickles set for about a month before breaking bad on them as this allows the flavors to permeate the pickles. 

*I get PICKLING lime from the grocery store here. I am sure you can get online as well.
**I use a bucket with a lid to let the tomatoes soak in the pickling lime. You might be able to score a cheap food-grade bucket with a lid from grocery stores (especially mom/pop types) that bake and ice cakes. I pay a $1 a bucket/lid combo in my home town and I know they are food grade!
***Rinse the tomatoes really well after soaking them in lime. I still had some lime settle in my finished product/jars and I did not like that idea much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...