In the many years since my grandmother Elsie’s passing in 1977, I’ve often perused my great-grandmother Ada’s recipes(Ma Ma Elsie’s mother), handwritten in faded pencil in a small, falling apart ledger book. There are various recipes from Chow Chow, Chili Sauce, Piccalilli, Tomato Relish and homemade catsup; there are different varieties of homemade pickles, pies, cakes and old fashioned chicken remedies! Particularly interesting to me are the vinegar pie and buttermilk pie, and Mrs. Pruitt’s Fruit Cake (with a cup full of whiskey or spirits poured over each one and laid away for a month before serving to age to perfection! Now, I have not tried many of these recipes, but I’m going to! This week I’m going to make vinegar pie!
After visiting Karen of http://thisoldhousetoo.blogspot.com/, earlier this week and seeing the prolific harvest from her beautiful garden, I decided today would be the perfect time to post a couple of recipes from this 19th century collection of recipes. Here goes:
Scald and skin 15 ripe tomatoes.
Pare, core, and cut into small pieces, 6 sour apples. (I’m thinking Granny Smith apples might do well here)
Peel 5 medium sized onions.
Chop all of these very fine, using a food chopper if you have one. Put in a large saucepan with 2 level Tablespoonfuls of salt, 3 green peppers or 1 level teaspoonful of black pepper.
1/2 pint vinegar.
Bring to a boil and boil 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the vessel from stove; put relish in jars and seal while hot.
This photo from www.tasteofhome.com
SPICED TOMATO RELISH
Peel & slice one peck ripe tomatoes, add 6 green peppers, 6 onions, chopped fine.
2 Tablespoonfuls cinnamon
1 Tablespoonful of salt
2 teaspoons cloves (I would go scant on this heavy spice) My notation.
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups vinegar
Boil mixture 2 hours. Seal while hot.
* This one I use with success.
*That last remark was my great –grandmother’s—I have not tried this recipe, but I think it sounds good!
*A peck equals approximately 13 pounds of tomatoes.
1 peck of tomatoes
6 big onions
3 green or red peppers
1/2 tea cup of salt
2 teaspoons of ground allspice
2 teaspoons of ground cloves
4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper
1 tea cup of sugar
1 1/2 pint of vinegar
* I think this sounds especially delicious and spicy—especially with that red pepper! No cooking directions were given for this recipe, but there is also a homemade catsup recipe which says to bring to boil and simmer til thick and when a teaspoonful is removed and placed in a saucer, no water will run from it. Then put in sterilized jars or bottles. I’m sure this could be processed in a hot water bath to be food safe—that is what I would do!
My son planted his first garden this year. The cucumber harvest has been plentiful and he has made over 60 jars of pickles—dill, garlic and bread & butter varieties—and those bloomin cucumber plants are still producing! Unfortunately all the heirloom tomato plants I bought have yielded little—perhaps due to the deluge of rain we had right after planting! Now we are in a terrible drought—up to 114 degrees this past week—miserable for man and animal—BUT it rained last night and again this morning! So, unless I break down and find a good deal at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, there won’t be any tomato relish here this year!
So I am just wondering! How is your garden faring in this extremely hot summer? What is your best crop so far—and are you putting up food for the winter? Canning and/or freezing your extra produce?
P.S. Just wanted to add here that right after posting this, I visited http://www.beverlysbackporch.blogspot.com and she had this amazing recipe for Old Fashioned Tomato Preserves that sounds quite easy! It is a sweet preserve with a sliced lemon and orange in it which is a little different twist.