Jarring Experience


Last crop provides pickles

Yep, our neighbor Berry’s tomatoes gasped their last gasp this weekend and he brought us the fruits of their labor. And yep, I couldn’t take a single picture of them without some part of Antsy in the pciture. (I finally figured out he was after the carrying  strap that was swinging from the camera.)

As you may remember, we, um, like fried things around here. But, seriously, that’s a lot of fried green tomatoes. So, I was wondering what to do – hate to see homegrown goodness go to waste.

And then the fates stepped in. We finished the last garlic dill at lunch yesterday. Big jar of pickle juice, green tomatoes. My late mother practically reached out and slapped me on the hand.

Time for green tomato pickles – her way. The easy way.

Right now, I’ll admit one of my two big failures as a home cook. I don’t can.

Those dill pickles we finished up were purchased from a grocery store.

I can can. I have canned. I have made strawberry preserves and bread and butter pickles. And they tasted delicious and no one became ill. But what a chore. All that chopping and boiling and messing around.

Don’t take offense, anyone. I know people who love to can – people who carry on the tradition of watermelon rind pickle and chow chow. And I applaud you. And I really applaud you when you bring me a jar of your homemade masterpiece.

But the romance and nostalgic pleasure of canning is totally lost on me. Sorry. My other big failure – a total dislike of making bread from scratch.

Call it short attention span. Limited patience. Whatever.

So I’m cheating and using my mother’s technique for:

Easy Green Tomato Pickles

Cut four green tomatoes into slices. Cut half a Vidalia onion into strips. Put the tomatoes and onion in a strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperautre 4 to 6 hours.

Discard salt water that has drained from tomatoes and onions. Rinse them briefly and pat dry with paper towels.

Pour pickle juice into a non-aluminum pan. Put tomatoes and onions in pickle jar. Bring pickle juice to a boil, pour over tomatoes and put lid on. Once jar has cooled enough to touch, put it the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before enjoying. Finish up the pickles within 10 days.

For hot dog or deviled egg topping, pinto bean accompaniment, or relish for potato salad, put the pickles in a food processor along with a little of the pickling juice and process briefly until the relish reaches your desired consistency.


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