Friday, August 5, 2011

Recipe #5: Grandma Louise's Green Tomato Relish

I am going to be transcribing this recipe directly from the much worn,highly loved, and lightly yellowed recipe card that is covered with my, now, 96-year-old grandma's very recognizable scrawl. I will provide a few notes at the end to pass-on the extra tidbits she has shared with my mother (and, later, with me) over the years about making this particular recipe.

Green Tomato Relish

2 quarts chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped sweet pepper
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot pepper (optional)
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
little salt

Cook until thickens. Seal in jars. You may use ripe tomatoes if you like.

So that is her recipe. Pretty basic. Pretty wonderful. Pretty much just like her.

So here are the liner notes:

*Remember that no matter what, you just need to have 3 quarts to 3 quarts plus 1/2 cup of vegetables to 2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of sugar- if you use 2 1/2 cups of onion and 1 1/2 cups of pepper, no problem. Don't have enough green tomatoes? Throw in a few ripe. Accidently cut up 2 1/2 quarts of tomatoes? Just lower the amount of onion and peppers. You will end up with beautiful relish no matter what. Different colored tomatoes and peppers just add to the appeal. Just remember to keep the ratio of veggies to vinegar to sugar. The recipe is even easily halved if need be.

*Kind of vinegar doesn't matter- you can use apple cider, regular, white wine, etc. Remember that your vinegar needs to have 5% acidity

*She never talked about "processing" the relish. However, I do. After studying multiple relish recipes, comparing ingredients, looking at quanities produce, etc. I decided to process mine in a hot water bath 10 mins for half-pints and 15 mins for pints. You'll likely not want to can this in quart jars. You do need to make sure use hot sterilized jars and follow all traditional canning basics.

I may add more notes as my mom reminds me of other Grandma Louise-isms.

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