Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Green Tomato Surplus

     I knew it wouldn't last forever, but I have really enjoyed our abundant fresh tomatoes for the past month or so. Now the inevitable has happened. Late Blight has reared its ugly head. I've worked diligently to keep it at bay. I planted the tomatoes through a three inch deep straw mulch. I put up a row cover to keep the rain off the plants and I've avoided wetting the leaves when I watered. After the past few weeks of wetter weather the tell tale patches of brown have started to appear on the vines,  Now I have several five gallon buckets of unripe tomatoes still on the vines. If I pull up blight invested vines and hang them in the garage, the tomatoes won't continue to ripen but will be ruined by the blight. However, I can pick them green and use them right away.

    I looked in my big Ball Canning book and found two likely uses for green tomatoes. One was a recipe for Green Tomato Chutney. It called for 16 cups of sliced green tomatoes, 16 cups of chopped apples, 3 cups of chopped onion, and 3 cups of chopped bell pepper. I still had half of my 50 pound bag of onions left and I had apples available for the picking. The only thing I had to buy was the bell peppers. I spent a good part of the SeaHawk game slicing green tomatoes and peeling them. The slicing went pretty quickly, but the peeling was a lot of work.  The recipe was supposed to make 7 pints, but I ended up with about 12 pints. That may be due to the fact that I estimated the 16 cups of green tomatoes. The seasoning was just three tablespoons of pickling spice in a spice bag and a teaspoon of chili powder.  It turned out to be quite tasty. I let both Linda and my son James sample the finished product. They both liked it then asked, "What do you use it for?" Traditionally chutneys are used as a topping over rice or a condiment on meat or fish. I think this would go very well with chicken or pork chops. It ended up looking very much like applesauce, only with telltale tomato seeds sprinkled throughout.

Green Tomato Chutney

     The second recipe I found was for Green Tomato Hot Dog Relish.  I plan to try that recipe as well.  The big advantage of the recipe for hot dog relish is that I don't have to peel the tomatoes. I just have to chop them finely. The other ingredients are chopped red and green bell peppers and chopped onions. All I have to buy is celery seed and a few red bell peppers.  I would consider using the green tomatoes for Salsa Verde but I have plenty of tomatillos growing in the garden. The tomatillos are totally immune to Late Blight and I think they are better for Salsa Verde anyway. In addition to the hot dog relish I have several other canning projects in immediate my future.  I need to find something to make with all of the red tomatoes ripening on our countertops and I have a large quantity of green beans demanding my attention. I'm planning to pickle the green beans and I will make either salsa or spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes.

I'm ready for my pole beans to give out on me.
    Early in  the spring I was looking for ways to garden later into the fall with row covers and my cold frame.  Now I'm ready for a break from the vegetable garden.  Before I can finish one canning project something else in the garden is demanding to be preserved.

Gerrit and Linda

      Gerrit and his girlfriend, Linda, left this past Friday to continue their vacation into British Columbia.  They had planned to rent a car but ran into the complication of Linda's age (24).  Rental car companies are very untrusting of young people (for good reason in many cases) and want to charge them much higher fees. (Darn those actuarial tables) They decided instead to take the ferry to Victoria and Vancouver and wait to rent a car in Vancouver. My Linda drove them to the Anacortes Ferry.  I thought I should post a photo of them in which neither of them are wearing a bee veil.

No comments:

Post a Comment