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.
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.