Hello September! The hint of Fall is in the air and I love it! As I was out this morning foraging for this photo, I was taken back by the beauty of the flowers and shrubs still making the field look pretty.
It’s hard to miss the goldenrod with its gorgeous bright, yellow spikes; the white tops of Queen Anne’s Lace; crimson lightly dot the landscape with wild thistles; red clover blossoms of light to dark pink, wild asters with shades of blue; and dainty white daisies. Doesn’t this paint a pretty picture? It did for me as I was thinking of how I would photograph my green tomato relish. It’s not the sort of food that can be ‘dressed up’ to look appealing or at least not in my opinion, it’s a relish after all. And, most have probably not even heard of green tomato relish…say what?
Canning (preserving food) is as old as the hills. My grandmothers and mother would make their own batches of pickles, relish, jams, jellies, canned veggies etc. each Fall. I always knew when mom was canning as the house would be filled with aromas of vinegar and spice. I’d come home from after school and get a whiff of the vinegar scent outdoors long before I opened the door. It’s one I cherish and are fondly reminded as I make my own.
4 lbs. green tomatoes, sliced or chopped
1 large onion, peeled and sliced or chopped
1/2 cup sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
mixed pickling spice (recipe below)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups vinegar
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 tablespoons whole allspice
3 teaspoon coriander seed
3 whole cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
Layer slices of tomatoes and onions in a large bowl. Cover with sea salt and allow to sit overnight. Drain in a colander. In a large pot over medium heat add tomatoes and onions. Add sugar and turmeric. Once sugar had dissolved, add vinegar and pickling spice ball. Simmer, uncovered, 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of the cooking time, get jars ready for sterilization.
Use a funnel with a large opening to fill up the hot jars or use a spoon. Clean around the rim and place lids on. Place jars back in the canner and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and let cook on a rack.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: You can use sterilized mason jars or other tempered-glass jars that are free of cracks or nicks. Whatever you use, make sure the containers are sterilized. Use this relish as a condiment for pork/beef roasts, chicken, burger topping, side for crab cakes, hot dogs. Enjoy!