Life. It has been a whole lot of *eesh* lately.
Eesh that we won’t talk about (much) here except to say that for me, eesh equates to bills, bros, and broken things. Home ownership is great….except when it isn’t.
Wondering why you’ve not yet seen the final installment of the garage progression? Because, well, neither have I. (Again, I’ll spare you the details of that fun saga, but suffice it to say that I have everything I need….except power. So yeah. FUN.
But in good news, my tomatoes survived the frost last weekend while I was away and not able to lovingly cover them with frost-protecting fabric at night.
Or maybe the frost never even came. I live in a little warm hole in town, being so close to the Giant Lake, so it is usually a few degrees warmer here than even just a few blocks south.
My mis en place is a bit….messy.
Before I left on Friday, I plucked all the tomatoes that were even slightly pink, as a ‘just in case’ measure. That way, even if all the plants froze, I would have at least a few more delicious garden tomatoes to savor.
Because I gave away most of the 10 pounds of tomatoes I brought home with me.
Lucky family members don’t even know how good they have it.
Oh how I love you, tomatoes fresh from my garden.
Since there wasn’t a frost, I’m back to brainstorming tomato ideas. Canning, freezing, and souping are on my brain. Oh, and salsa-ing. Because duh.
But, I promised you a couple tomato recipes that I’ve already made. So let’s just start with one of those and not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Yes, we shall.
Have you guessed which recipe I’m giving you yet?
There were green tomatoes in that picture up there. And a green pepper. And some aromatics – onion, garlic, and ginger. Any guesses now?
Remember how I said I’ve gotten into canning lately? And there were green tomatoes….and garlic is often used in Middle Eastern-type cooking…and they are pretty fond of their chutneys?
Geesh, it’s like pulling teeth here.
I’m going to pretend that you all knew what I was drivng at and that you were yelling out loud to your computer screen and that you are now annoyed with me for having assumed you didn’t know what I was talking about.
And for that, I apologize. I should not have doubted you.
Green Tomato Chutney (Makes 7 pints)
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green tomatoes
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 pound green bell pepper (one extremely large pepper)
- 1/4 pound onion, diced (1/2 medium)
- 1/2 head of garlic (about 6-7 cloves)
- 1 T fresh grated ginger root
- 1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
- 1/2 T cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp anise
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T maple syrup
- stevia, to taste
Add everything to a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, until thickened. You may need to add more water, depending on how much pectin your apples have. You don’t want this to thicken too fast, before the flavors have a chance to “marry” as they say.
While this is happening, prep your canning supplies – boil the jars, etc. Fill the sterilized jars with the chutney, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
You will hear the ping when you take them out. That oh-so-satisfying ping.
The pectin from the applesauce helps thicken this chutney up and also lends it a slight, but not overpowering sweetness. I used unsweetened, just a bit of maple syrup (more for the maple taste than the sweetness), and a tiny bit of stevia to balance the vinegar. If you have more of sweet tooth, or prefer your sauces on the sweet side, I’d add more sweetness.
Me? I prefer the heat to the sweet when it comes to dips and condiments.
Cookies are a different story. Clearly.
How is your week going? Do you like sweet or spicy condiments? I feel like people who prefer ketchup are sweet condiment lovers, while those that prefer mustard are spicy/savory lovers. I think we know where I fall on this spectrum.