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Pickled Green Tomatoes

With the temperature rapidly plummeting towards freezing (only a little ice on the car, though, no snow on the ground), I realized yesterday that I better pick the rest of the tomatoes from the garden before they all get spoiled.  Excellent timing, if I do say so myself, since I had the time to make some pickles today and can them for the cold winter months (as if I can’t just buy pickles at the store).

Sometimes I like to pretend that I am Laura Ingalls Wilder and I need to store enough vegetables and potatoes in my root cellar for Ma and Pa to divvy out to the kids until the train can make it through the ice in the spring.  That’s probably where my fervent love for calico aprons comes from.

Regardless of if you need to shore up supplies for the next few months or just have some green tomatoes to use up, here’s a recipe idea for you that I assembled from a bunch of different recipes I found online.

Pickled Green Tomatoes (makes four pints)

  • 2-4 pounds of green tomatoes (mine were Roma, some big, some small)
  • 2 C white vinegar
  • 2 C water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 4 t salt
  • 3 t dill seeds
  • 3 t peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 bay leaves

Sterilize the pint jars and lids in a large pot (I use a giant stock pot) of boiling water for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and slice them in half (or quarters if they are large).  Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Divide the peppercorns, garlic cloves (I sliced each clove in half), dill seeds, and bay leaves between the four jars.

Fill the jars with the sliced green tomatoes and set them on a cloth.

Carefully pour the brine over the top of the tomatoes, leaving a bit of head space at the top.

Wipe the edges with a damp cloth and put on the lids–don’t overscrew the lids on, just twist them enough that it feels firm.  Place the closed jars back into the boiling water, making sure they are covered by at least an inch over the top.  Boil them for ten minutes, then allow them to cool on a cloth.  The lids should pop when the jars seal–if not, you have to either refrigerate the jar and eat it faster or reprocess.

Oh, and a hint for you–when you put the jars back into the pot to process, place them on top of something so they aren’t sitting directly on the hot bottom of the pan.  I may or may not have lost a jar when the bottom exploded during processing.

Not the best.

It was a perfect day for canning, crisp and chilly outside and beautiful weather for taking pictures.  I feel like fall is slipping away and I’m not quite ready for that yet!  Just a few more fall weekends, please!

While I was busy jarring goods for the winter months, Henry and Fritz were doing what they do best as men of the house: napping and studying.  I’m guessing that you can figure out who does what?

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  1. Kristen

    Reason #32 why I love having sisters: there is someone who understands on a deep, deep level my desire to live on the prairie, make my own bonnets, fry a pig’s tail over the fire on a stick, and treasure the one orange that I get a year when it arrives in my Christmas stocking.

    And then go off to school at Hogwarts when I turn 11.

  2. mike

    Definitely trying pickled tomato thing. My dad used to pickle them and I used to love their firm pickliness.

    Wait. The cat’s name is Henry? Not Fritz? Cause, you know, that movie? Fritz the Cat? Anyway, awesome recipes and stuff!

  3. Rande McDaniel

    Fun idea!

  4. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Great idea! I just found you through Foodgawker – beautiful photos. I just picked about 40 green tomatoes from my garden yesterday and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to let them ripen up or figure out something to do with them while they’re green!

  5. Nuts about food

    I get the Little House on the Prarie thing. Really nice pics.

  6. Amanda Garbutt

    Great idea for the winter months! A little while back I attended an event hosted by Jamie Kennedy, a renowned chef in Toronto. I think you’ll really enjoy the blog post I wrote about it. Please check it out here: http://bit.ly/picklingjars

  7. Curtis

    I made pickled green cherry tomatoes about 3 weeks ago when I cleaned out my garden, very similar recipe but no sugar and I added a couple of home grown red cayenne peppers to each jar. I ended up with 7 pints, not bad for food that would normally go to waste.

    Slightly salty, crisp, tart and delicious, makes a great martini when combined with a cocktail onion!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I really wanted to add pepper, but the only one i had left was moldy…not the best idea for canned goods, i think.

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