Three ripe tomatoes. That's how many I was able to pick from my fall tomato crop before the frost came last Friday night/Saturday morning to ensure that there wouldn't be any more.
Can somebody please remind me why I plant tomatoes every summer hoping for ripe tomatoes by Thanksgiving only to have the crop cut short by frost? And could you please try to convince me not to do it again - at least not until I get my very own greenhouse?
I mean I like fried green tomatoes, green tomato salsa, and green tomato relish as much as the next person, but come on! This is a whole lot of green tomato relish.
My harvest basket runneth over.
Today the search is on for likely recipes and I think I've found one on allrecipes.com. It looks easy and tasty, and, yes, it IS for green tomato relish.
GREEN TOMATO RELISH
•24 large green tomatoes
•3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
•3 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
•12 large onions
•3 tablespoons celery seed
•3 tablespoons mustard seed
•1 tablespoon salt
•5 cups white sugar
•2 cups cider vinegar
•In a grinder or food processor, coarsely grind tomatoes, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and onions. (You may need to do this in batches.) Line a large colander with cheesecloth, place in sink or in a large bowl, and pour in tomato mixture to drain for 1 hour.
•In a large, non-aluminum stockpot, combine tomato mixture, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
•Sterilize enough jars and lids to hold relish (12 one-pint jars, or 6 one-quart jars). Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars all the way to top. Screw on lids.
•Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.
•Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Relish can be stored for up to a year.
I can't say that my family is actually jonesing for more relish or pickles. So far this year, I've made corn relish, zucchini relish (several batches), and beet pickles. I've given some of it away, but still the shelves of my pantry are groaning with jars of relish. But there sit all those green tomatoes and they can't all be fried or otherwise cooked and eaten as side dishes, and since they do represent a certain amount of labor on my part, I am loathe to let them go to waste. So green tomato relish it is!
I know what my friends and family are getting as stocking stuffers this year.