Wednesday, September 29, 2010

100 year old green tomatoe pickle recipe, Green Tomatoes, kitchen courage, sacrificing virgins, (southern chow-chow), Ida Bailey Allen, Jimmy has his reasons

Many of our tomatoes are turning this week thanks to the strangely warm and summery weather we are experiencing here in Seattle. But its not going to be enough. Now.... I told Jimmy we should put  a half cold frame back over them ( or go on a national search for a virgin to sacrifice) but he has valid reasons for not doing so. That means, it falls to me to get creative.  In desperation I am once again turning to Ida. Pickled green tomatoes. I'm hoping this serves two purposes;
 1.) Our cucumber crop was less than stellar this year resulting in only 7 pints of pickles. We go through about 2 dozen (including gifting).
 2.) Substituting green tomatoes for classic cucumber pickles will keep ALL those wonderful tomatoes, we had such high hopes for, out of the compost bin.

I will be practicing some kitchen courage with 10 of  the  40 pounds or so of unripened tomatoes.  The rest I will pull this weekend , put in a cardboard box (not touching) and allow to ripen  before making sauce.
I have faith in this because I have used green tomatoes for other purposes ( southern  chow-chow and frying)

Pickled green tomatoes
5  pounds green tomatoes (quartered and the seeds cleaned out)
2 pounds onions
2 pounds green peppers  (quartered and the seeds cleaned out)
5 cups  vinegar
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp mixed pickling spices
1 tsp each celery and mustard seed (I'm gonna use 2 tbsp mustard seed cuz I like all pickles really mustard-y)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp horseradish (I'm not gonna use this cuz horseradish and me do not mix well)

Put all vegetables in a container of brine water (1/2 cup salt to 1 quart of water) Let stand over night. Drain and pack in sterilized  jars
Put vinegar,sugar and seasonings in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes. Pour over  vegetables in jars making sure to cover all vegetables  with liquid.  Put on sterilized lids  and water bath for 10 minutes. Store in cool dark place.  Allow 6 weeks for curing.   

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