Last evening before it got dark, I ventured into the garden with a single basket. It proved to be too small. There were a few red tomatoes, a few turning red, and 7 pounds of green tomatoes on dead vines. There are still two determinate type slicers growing with a few fruits on them. The Thai and Serano peppers had a couple hands full of red ripe peppers and the Jalapenos had a hand full of pickling size, and fortunately I had on a jacket with big pockets to hold them. The basil got cut again, maybe for the last time. And about a dozen Tomatillos ready to harvest.
The basil was stripped to dry but the rest was just left on the table until this morning while I tried to figure out what to do with 7 pounds of green tomatoes. All of the recipes I saw online were for salsa you broiled the tomatoes, onions, and garlic then food process mixed them for a refrigerator salsa. There were too many tomatoes for that. One of my favorite canning cookbooks to the rescue.
First, I pickled the jalapenos, blanched and froze the Tomatillos and ripe tomatoes. Put the ripening ones in the window to finish ripening. Strung the red Thai peppers to start the third string of them drying.
Though her recipes are generally for a few half pints, I have successfully doubled or tripled them for pints. The recipe for a canned Green Tomato Salsa called for 2 pounds to make 3 half pint jars, I tripled it and realized very quickly that it was going to make way more than 4+ pints, so 6 pint jars went into the canner to heat up and as I was filling them with a very thick and chunky salsa, added a 7th. The recipe called for a half poblano pepper. I don’t grow them, they don’t have any “kick.” I had harvested Serano and Thai peppers that had no immediate use, there weren’t enough Seranos and no red Jalapenos to make Sriracha style fermented sauce, so I just chopped them up with the Thai’s and added them to the 6 pounds of chopped green tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices. The suggestion was to remove it from the heat when it was thick enough and taste it to adjust the salt and hot peppers if needed. Well, I think I will name it “It might make you cry” Salsa, it made me cry. Son 1 likes it hot, hubby likes it hot. Between them, I’m sure all 7 pints will disappear in short order, but I won’t be eating any of it.
The last pound of green tomatoes were layered in a box with a ripe apple in hopes that they will ripen and can be added to the bag in the freezer to use later in the winter and a recipe calls for whole or diced tomatoes.
For years, we have had an indoor/outdoor thermometer system. They last 4 or 5 years before they give out and quit working. Our last one quit about two weeks ago. It is funny how you learn to rely on something. I can check the weather forecast, but the station that reports for us in located somewhere in the county in an area that seems to be more extreme temperature changes than we have. I have checked to see that it was reporting as much as 10 degrees colder than our unit said when it worked. The outdoor part of ours in on the inside of a post of our north facing covered front porch. Tractor Supply carries a variety of thermometers from ones you hang on the porch and either try to read through the window or brave the elements to go out and look at it, to the indoor/outdoor ones with all sorts of reporting. I got us a medium range one that shows temperature, time, indoor temperature and humidity, barometric pressure, high/low temperature history, and supposedly, a prediction (we will see on that feature).
It is hanging near the front door, so we can see how many layers we need to put on before going out. The high/low feature won’t kick in accurately until it has been up 24 hours. It is a pleasant 72 today, the high for the week. We had a quick rain shower but have a couple days of soaking rain due tomorrow and Wednesday. While picking up the thermometer, we also picked up a roll of heavy mil plastic sheeting that will cover the fig and if necessary some garden plants if a frost is predicted this week.
I need to go find space on the pantry shelves for the salsa.
Stay safe all.