Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Green Tomato Pickles (Page 910)

RECIPE #1198

  • Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty and PJ
  • Recipe Rating: B-

As of two months ago I had seven recipes left in The Book that involved canning. I like canning, but it is a bit of an ordeal so I tend to put it off. Summer is the time of year that makes me want to can though, so I motivated myself to can some sour cherries, concord grapes, bread-and-butter pickles, and these green tomato pickles. So I only have three canning recipes left in The Book! Whoo hoo. What I didn't realize before I started making this recipe is that this wasn't even canning. The recipe didn't call for the jars to get processed in the end, so they aren't shelf-stable. The pickles will keep for a long time, but they need to be refrigerated. For me this is a huge bummer. My favorite thing about home canning is that canned goods make for gifts that travel well. Every time I can something that is remotely tasty I send some to friends and family. But these aren't shelf-stable which means I don't feel comfortable giving them away. On the upside, the lack of processing meant this recipe was a little bit quicker than some other canning projects I have done. Actually it was super-quick. I started by sterilizing the jars. Then I put some kosher salt, pickling spices, dill sprigs, garlic cloves, dried hot chiles, and halved green tomatoes in the jars. I filled the jars with hot water, put the lids and screw bands on, and refrigerated. These pickles needed to sit for at least a month for the flavors to develop. I made them at the beginning of July. We busted them out when PJ came to visit because he tends to like pickled things. The pickles were OK. They were surprisingly crispy for tomatoes that had been sitting in liquid for a month. The flavor was fine -- they tasted pickled. There was nothing particularly exciting about these pickles, but they certainly weren't bad. Everyone agreed that they tasted fine, and nobody ate more than one. That pretty much summarizes it.

This recipe isn't online.

A funny story from last weekend: My special gentleman and I have a bit of extra furniture around the house since we both had our own furniture before we got married and we also have a lot of my parents' furniture from when they sold their house. So we have been selling a few things on Craigslist (e.g. my special gentleman's old dining room set). When we recently upgraded to a king size bed, we had planned to store our old full-size mattress and box spring either in the attic or the basement. We found we couldn't get them up the attic stairs though, and the room in the basement where we planned to put them is now our kittens' room, where they have their food, water, and litter boxes, and we didn't want to crowd them. We already have four beds in the house, plus a pull out sofa, plus a futon, so we figured we could get rid of the fifth bed and it would be fine.

Selling a used mattress seems a little sketchy to me, especially because this mattress was from when my special gentleman was in college. It was old. There was nothing wrong with it. It was clean, no broken springs. But it wasn't a fancy mattress to begin with, and it had been slept on for ten years. So we decided we would post it on Craigslist for free and see if anyone wanted it. We got so many calls that we had a wait list within 30 minutes of posting the ad and had to take the ad down to make the phone stop ringing. The person who called first ended up flaking, so it was the second caller who got it. From our five minute conversation on the phone it was perfectly clear that this guy was a college student, although he didn't say as much. He showed up the next morning to pick up the mattress, driving a little compact car. He was maybe 19 or 20 -- clearly an undergrad but not a freshman. He had that frat boy look. He was extremely grateful for the mattress, thanking us profusely over and over. He told us a long story about a mattress that fell through and a moldy futon.

After a while my special gentleman asked him how he was going to attach the mattress to his car. He hadn't thought of that. After some reflection he asked us for some rope. Luckily we had some and we helped him. He continued to thank us. I was already loving this experience. He couldn't have been more of a stereotypical male undergrad at a Big Ten university. And I definitely felt like the guy appreciated the mattress and would give it another few years of use. But my favorite moment, by far, was at the end of his visit. The mattress was tied to his car, he was ready to go, and he turned to me and asked, "So since you guys got a bigger bed, do have sheets and stuff for this one that you aren't using any more? Can I have them?" It totally cracked me up. I suppose it was a perfectly reasonable question. But nobody has ever asked me for my used sheets before! Hahaha. College students crack me up.


debs said...

green tomato pickles is an interesting dish, i have never tried a pickled tomato.

Anonymous said...

Questions that must be asked:

What would happen if you processed these?


Teena said...

Caroline -- It's a good question and I'm not sure what the answer is. I am no expert when it comes to canning, so I couldn't say for sure whether or not these would be shelf-stable if I had just processed them in a boiling water canner for twenty minutes. Perhaps the answer is that they would be, but the tomatoes would no longer be crisp after being in cans submerged in boiling water for twenty minutes. I'm not sure.