I did something yesterday I haven’t done in years. I made green tomato relish.
I haven’t done any canning at all in recent years so I admit I was a little nervous about it. I had to run out and buy some jars and lids since I have no idea what happened to mine. If I didn’t sell them all at the garage sale before I moved several years ago, twice, they are in boxes somewhere and I didn’t have time to go looking. Running out to the store was the easy part. Picking and chopping took much longer.
The weather has been holding out here and it’s been gorgeous. But the prospect for the week isn’t good. It’s supposed to rain and turn colder – putting an end to the glories of gardening for this year.
My mother calls me the ‘little farmer’. I have a nice big garden and she admitted to me that she thought I would lose interest in it shortly after I planted it. But this is my second year and I have no desire to give it up. I love gardening, and tending my vegetables is very therapeutic – except when the thieves turn up in the night to wreak havoc.
First something ate my celery, so I put up a little wire cage around it. Probably the same creature that ate more of my lettuce than I did. All summer I’ve noticed an occasional tomato on the ground looking half eaten – some green, some red, and I’ve had to dig up all my carrots if I wanted to keep any because something else was beating me to it! Squirrels, raccoons or chipmunks? I’ve not been able to catch any of them and I’m not sure which of those are partial to carrots. So far they don’t seem to like parsnips.
But back to the tomatoes! Years ago I got an awesome recipe for a green tomato relish from some relatives in Arkansas and knowing the rest of those tomatoes out there won’t get a chance to ripen I got to work. My next door neighbor and my aunt contributed their green tomatoes and I was in canning heaven. My mother helped chop – tomatoes, onions and peppers as I tried to remember how to properly can.
I have to say it went smoothly, my little heart jumping for joy every time I heard the ‘ping’ of a jar sealing. In the end I came out with 24 pints of relish and would have had one or two more if I’d had enough jars. But the leftover relish was perfect for dinner as I gave it the taste test.
Let me just say – all the mouth watering was not in vain!
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