Wednesday, October 12, 2016
The weather turned suddenly, and left me with dying tomato plants (and lots of small green tomatoes that could never ripen)
September and now October has flown past in a flash. What I thought was several more weeks to manage what's left in the garden turned into just a few days. The tomato plants were hit by blight, and I had just days to deal with what was left on the vines.
I went out to the garden on Monday, and I picked all of the small green tomatoes, even the ones that didn't have a chance at ripening indoors. Any tomato larger than a pea was fair game.
After washing all of these tomatoes, I ran a bunch of them through the food processor, along with onions, and baby green peppers from the garden. I used this finely chopped veggie mix to make our sweet pickle relish for the next year.
I used about 4 cups of chopped green tomato, 1 1/2 onions, chopped, and about 1/2 cup of finely chopped green pepper. Adding in some vinegar, sugar, salt and spices, I was able to make 3 pints of sweet relish, for about 50 cents total, including lids for the jars.
This is enough relish for the year for our family, with a small jar leftover for gifting in a basket of home-canned goodies, to a certain someone, special to me.
I have enough green tomatoes leftover to make a small batch of dill relish, too, if I work quickly. Once tomatoes have been caught out by blight, they turn brown and unusable.
And so another summer's garden is coming to a close. A nice respite for me. And by spring, I'll be eager to get my hands in the dirt, once again.
Making this relish reminded me of all of those end of the season recipes, like piccalilli, that I find in old cookbooks. Ones where you add bits of mis-matched this and that to the mix, and end up with something really yummy as a result. Have you ever tried piccalilli, or some similar garden relish? What do you do with those last bits from the garden?