Daily Prompt: Relish (Green Tomato & Beet)

Green Tomato relish and pickled

In addition to my fried green tomatoes, I also made green tomato relish. I had never tasted it before and am surprised at how much I like it. The green tomatoes make it tangy and the brown sugar balances that with some sweetness. There’s also onion, pepper, cabbage and mustard seeds.

Chopped green tomatoes, onion, cabbage, peppers are salted for several hours, rinsed and then turned into relish
Chopped green tomatoes, onion, cabbage, peppers are salted for several hours, rinsed, and then turned into relish. This is about 28 cups!

I also made some beet relish a few weeks ago. (Same day I made a batch of hot peppers, apparently.)

Beet relish canned and spicy peppers canned

It’s pretty heavy on the beet flavor, but still good. I had never tasted this either, but I had some beets and the recipe in the canning book seemed good.

Ingredients of the beet relish: chopped beets, cabbage, onion and peppers

I think the green tomato is my new favorite. I had to try some refrigerator pickled slices, too. These are flavored with dill.

Green Tomato slices, pickled with dill

I made 7 pints of the green tomato relish, 4 pints of the slices, 4 half-pints of beet relish, and one pint of refrigerator pickled slices. Looks like I’ll be…savoring this relish for a long time.

viaDaily Prompt: Relish

P is for Preserving Food

Two summers ago I tried canning for the first time and loved it. Last year I did even more food-preservation projects.

Cherries were first. I canned some sweet and some sour, and I also made jam for the first time. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m still getting over how much sugar goes into jam. It’s hard to dump 6-7 cups of sugar into a pot of something I’m making.

Canned cherries and cherry jam

Later, I made blackberry jam. It was such a nice day picking these blackberries that I used some photos for my entry in the photo challenge called Good Day.

Homemade Blackberry jam

I also canned peaches. At the time, I felt like I had packed the jars full of peach halves, but after canning they kind of shrunk and floated, making it look like I could have fit more in.

Jars of home canned peaches

Throughout the summer, I was canning tomato sauce. Each week I would bring home tomatoes from the farmers market and make sauce.

Quarts of home canned tomato

Sometimes you can find tomato “seconds,” which are fruits that aren’t in perfect shape, but are still definitely edible. There may be bruises that you have to cut off, splits, or minor things like that. These are sold at a discount, or sometimes given away for free. They still make excellent sauce, so they’re good enough for me.

Chopped heirloom tomatoes in pot for tomato

In all, I think the things that I canned were: cherries, cherry jam, tomato sauce, pickled beets, spicy peppers, applesauce, picked roasted bell peppers, peaches, blackberry jam.

Canned spicy peppers

It got so hectic that I wasn’t keeping up with writing down or taking pictures of the stuff I canned, it was hard enough just to get it done and still have my tiny kitchen cleaned and ready to cook the next meal. But I really loved it. The chaos and mess were totally worth it.

I love the idea of preserving good products at the peak of freshness to enjoy later. It’s nice to have control over the process of what goes in it. I’m looking forward to doing more this summer as things come into season.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

A to Z Challenge badge

Canned Pickled Beets: 5 Photos, 5 Stories: Day 2

pickled beets in mason jar
In October, I canned some pickled beets. This was my fourth canning project after tomato sauce, roasted pickled peppers, and apple butter. The pickling liquid included allspice, clove and cinnamon, which gives the beets such a delicious and warm spicy flavor. I hadn’t tried canning before this past fall, so it was nice to finally achieve my goal. I’m planning to do more canning this year!

This post comes as part of the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge sent to me by Nonny Moose. I thought my theme for the next five days would be food, since I haven’t written much about that lately. A theme is not necessary, but for me this is motivation to get caught up on some posts I have been drafting in my mind.

The challenge rules are:

  1. Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be real, fiction, a poem, a quote or short paragraph – that is entirely up to you.
  3. At the end of each day, nominate one other blogger to take part.

Today I nominate lrod of lrod’s blog. lrod, are you up for the challenge? There’s no pressure, it’s just for fun 🙂