Friday, September 11, 2009

The End of Summer

Wow! The end of summer is here. School has started and everyone's gardens are winding down. When my friend, Abbie Finley, called to say he had plenty of tomatoes to share, I went into the preseving mode.
After just a few minutes in his garden I had a 5-gallon bucket loaded with really red, ripe tomatoes. I stopped by Wal-Mart on the way home for a few nectarines, two green bell peppers, and three Jalapeno peppers. Everything else I would need was waiting at home. I'm thinking red tomato relish! And, I have a wonderful new recipe to try.
Here are some of the beautiful ingredients.

My first task was to put on a pot of water to blanch the nectarines and tomatoes. Just a short time in the boiling water will loosen the skins so they slip right off. Actually the tomatoes worked wonderfully, but the nectarines were a bit more work.

After the boiling water they all go into an icewater bath to cool them down. This saves the fingers.

Look at all the wrinkly skins waiting to be shed.

Chop the Jalapenos. Carefully and with gloves on!

All the pretty peppers piled up.

Here is everything chopped and in the pot. I decided to use a tea bag for my pickling spices.


Just a minute after putting the "make-do" bag in the pot, I broke it stirring. So, the next 5 minutes were spend picking out the little pieces of allspice, clove, cinnamon, etc., that escaped into the pot. Thank goodness, it was just a little rip in the bag.

So, then I went to the workshop, cut a proper muslin square and tied everything up with a cotton cord. Whew! Sometimes, shortcuts take a lot longer.

It was a long day. I picked, prepared, chopped, cooked and strirred, canned, and cleaned up from about 8:30am until 5:30pm. Long day, but I did lots of other things during the cooking and stirring session. The results were worth it.

Lots of wonderful sweet, tangy, spicy, ripe tomato relish.

Life is good.