Pickled Green Tomatoes

We had warnings of temperatures down in the low 20s this past weekend. I wasn’t bothered by that fact until I happened Some of our green tomatoesto walk out my back door. There, the garden stared me down, along with all of the unripe green tomatoes. A lot of them. I stood my ground for a bit. After all, I had company and was tired. Besides, what would I do with all those green tomatoes? I could give them to my chickens I thought.

Nope. So there I was out in the cold weather picking every last green cherry, grape, and beefy tomato with the sun setting in the background. My company helped until they got too cold. I couldn’t blame them. I was out in a sweatshirt and vest while they all had their winter jackets, hats, and gloves on. Did I mention they are from Maryland where it was a balmy 65 degrees? Glancing at the outdoor thermometer, it showed that it was 38°F. While they went in to warm up by the fireplace and sip hot chocolate, I picked a good 20 pounds of green tomatoes. I also gathered the last of the peppers and the Swiss chard as I wasn’t sure it would make it through the night.

I have never actually eaten pickled green tomatoes but figured if I like pickles, I would like pickled tomatoes. My dill had gone to seed and dried up in the garden so I was left to improvise.

Here is the recipe I came up with – I’ll let you know how they taste in a month or so!Getting ready to cut the tomatoes

This recipe will fill seven pint sized Mason jars.

Brine:

3 cups of white vinegar

3 cups of water

4 tablespoons of kosher salt

Pickling spice:

3 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon of celery seeds

3 tablespoons of black whole peppercorns

1 tablespoon of whole allspice

5 bay leaves crumbled up

Getting ready to pack the jarsBegin by washing, drying and cutting all of the tomatoes into bite size pieces. The cherry tomatoes and grape I cut in half. Larger tomatoes I chunked. After sterilizing your jars (if needed) fill each of them with a tablespoon or so of your pickling spice. Then pack the jars tightly with your tomatoes making sure to leave a 1/2 inch of space at the top. In a large saucepan over Green tomatoes in jarsmedium heat add your vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a boil stirring to help the salt dissolve.

Using a funnel and a ladle, carefully pour your hot brine into each jar, covering your tomatoes but leaving at least a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the jar rims with a damp cloth and then screw on the two-piece lids being careful not to screw it on too tight.

Place your Pickled tomatoes in the water bathfilled jars in a water bath of already boiling water. The tops of the jars should be covered with at least 1-inch of water. Boil for about 15 minutes. Store your tomatoes in a dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening.My pickled green tomatoes

I’m glad I picked them when I did as we hit 26°F that night and it killed my tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants!

My plants hit by frost

My plants hit by frost

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