Tomato Relish Day

Yesterday, I made Tomato Relish for the second time in my life. The LAST time I made tomato relish (2007), I used my Father-in-Law's tomatoes which I brought back from Alabama. And I only had enough tomatoes for half of a batch.

This time?



I had plenty of tomatoes. FROM MY OWN GARDEN!

(Er, sorry. I just get so excited about my garden, what with being such a frustrated farmer and all.)

In fact, even after cooking up 16 pounds of tomatoes, I still had these left and that's not even counting the ones that are still on the vine and will be ready today.


(Pardon me while I burst into tears while contemplating the never-shrinking Mount Cucumber.)

The most laborious part of making tomato relish is the peeling of the tomatoes. First I cut a little "x" in them and then blanched them in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then I put them in ice water to stop them from cooking. Then I peeled them.

This took roughly, oh, three weeks but at the end of it, I had a bowl full of peeled tomatoes. Ana, 11, passed by the bowl at this point and looked at me, disconcerted. "They look kind of gross -- all naked like that."

She has a point.



So, then I chopped the tomatoes and put them in a pot.

Immediately, it became apparent that I was going to need a bigger pot because I still had to chop three green bell peppers, three red bell pepper and TWELVE onions and add them to the tomatoes. (Actually, I only used eight large onions, instead of the twelve medium ones specified by the recipe. I had had enough of chopping and crying after eight, thank you.)

I was forced to use the really HUGE pot I usually reserve for big shrimp boils.

The problem with that pot is that it takes FOREVER to boil.



And then the relish has to COOK forever.

Eventually, though, I had my reward.



I find that I am very glad I made so much tomato relish THIS time because I don't think I'm going to want to make it again for a long while.

Comments

Miriam said…
Gorgeous. Just beautiful. Don't go carrying that upstairs into the no-food zone though.
Susan said…
Boy, lots of hard work! Good for you! I gave up canning because it was so much work. If you hate the boiling/ice water method of peeling tomatoes you can use the freezing method instead. Just wash the tomatoes and pop them into a bag, then stick them in the freezer. When they're frozen, thaw them, and the skins will slip right off.
MadMad said…
That is wonderful that your tomatoes survived the blight - we can hardly get any up here any more. Poor me. I was forced to buy pie at the farmers' market again...
Stefanie said…
If a jar of that and your pickles just happened to show up at my door... I wouldn't complain. ;)

They look great! I can't believe Mt. Cucumber is still so big!!
Hannah said…
Nicely done, Barb! Perhaps you ought to consider doing a blog giveaway? SOME of us live in places where gardens will not grow in the summer. Where heat records have been smashed this season. Where drought reigns. :-)
STQ said…
Hey, your friend in Las Vegas agrees - you should do a giveaway!!! I'd take a few tomatoes while you're packing my box too... :)
ToyLady said…
Well, hey, LOOK at those cucumbers!

Have you made tzatziki yet? That would use one or two cukes. Maybe more if, like me, you decide that yogurt sauce is perfectly fine plopped on top of a salad, too!

Also - I just dried a couple of pans of tomatoes in the oven - that took care of, um, one bowl of 'em!
Mrs.Q said…
What Stefanie said!

And...mmmmm!
Ream O Rama said…
So Jealous. Georgia showed no love to our garden this year and all the tomatoes were a bust....devastating to someone who lives off (sob) tomato sandwiches in the summer. Feel sorry at my tale of woe yet? Wonder what could make me feel a little better? Hmmmm...
Suna said…
Yeah, as pointed out earlier, no tomatoes in Austin. Hail knocked them all off, then it got murderously hot. Thank you for your blog, though, which I have been enjoying for quite so long, and for "introducing" me to the blogs of your friends!
Becca said…
mmm, yummy. you should make salsa too!
ToyLady said…
Oh, oh, hey! I found a pickle recipe! Not that I've ever made it or anything. . . but it kinda looks good. :)

http://www.tuesdayrecipe.com/tuesday-recipe-archives/basics/bread-and-butter-pickles/
Foggle said…
Your relish looks fabulous. It is now relish making time in New Zealand and I use a recipe where you don't peel the tomatoes. The onions, however ...
The good news is that I have found a method for peeling onions and NOT CRYING!