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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Green Tomato Ketchup

The leaves are mostly gone now, but the very early morning outside my window looks like this when the sun rises.

Its not always cold but the cooler temperatures and shorter days cause the tomatoes to stop producing and as a kid we gathered them all to make green tomato ketchup.  I haven't made this since my mother died 30 years ago.  My uncle shared the recipe and I made a batch.

First you grind up a mess of tomatoes.  Doesn't matter how many because its all done by eyeballing and taste.  Put on a kettle of water to boil.

 Add salt.  How much?  Well since this is my grandmother's recipe I'll use her words.  Add a "right smart" of salt and stir it up good.  Then you grind up the same amount (total) of apples, onion, pepper and cabbage.

Add salt to this and mix.  By now the water should be boiling and you scald the salted tomatoes rinsing them well.  Put them in a big pot then scald the apple, pepper, onion and cabbage mixture.  Mix everything well.

To this  mixture add pickling spices.  Make sure you bind them with cloth.  Otherwise the suble taste of the vegetables will be overwhelmed and you'll have pickle relish.

 Then add vinegar, maybe a cup per gallon of relish.  I add sugar to taste.

Cook this mixture until done.  In this case you want to cook it past the blanched stage.  Taste it.  The relish will sweeten and sour with age so err on the side of not too much.  It will be a bit bland but with time the spices and vinegar and sugar will pickle the tomatoes.

I wash jars and  put them in a hot (200 degree) oven and boil the lids.  Then I pack the jars and wait for them to seal.  If they seal I'm done, and if they don't I can give them a hot water bath or stick them in the fridge to eat first.  These all sealed.

In my family we ate this green tomato ketchup on beans and we used it instead of pickles in deviled eggs.  I will be very popular this Thanksgiving sharing this with my brothers!

I have many lovely memories working with my family.  I can still remember how we scalded the vegetables then hung them in an old pillowcase on the  clothes line to drain before we added the pickling ingredients.  I used a colander this time.

What was the last thing you put up from your garden?


sawn48 said...

I love green tomato relish on dried beans, but we have been freezing all of our green tomatoes. We both love that taste, and you can't get it in any other food.

Mary said...

I think its a Kentucky thang!

Buttons said...

Oh Mary your Grandmother and I would have got along so well she reminds me of my Grandmother. This looks so good, I have not tomatoes left they all ripened so I through them in a big pot of soup last night. You are lucky to have learned from your Grandma just like I was.
Wow your brothers for Thanksgiving that IS exciting. B

Buttons said...

Mary about your question on my blog. I have no idea I always called it the bush I like it I don't have any reason just to say that is what we call it. Maybe it is Canadian LOL. B