English: Green tomatoes on a plant.

I made an exciting discovery in my Grandma’s box of cookbooks: my Great Grandma’s cookbook! This was a cookbook from J R Watkins of seasonings fame, circa 1936, and was stuffed full of recipes she’d written on slips of paper and cut from newspapers. Best of all, I found her recipe for Green Tomato Pickles. This is a topping no Carrington household was without as my Grandma diligently made a big batch every year and made sure my parents got a generous number of jars. We ate it on top of mashed potatoes and greens.

My mom and I made an all-day affair of putting up a batch 2 summers ago from a recipe I found on the internet, and it was disappointing. So I’m glad to have this blog where I can store these family recipes, allowing me to reproduce the tastes of my childhood and introduce them to my own grandchildren.

This recipe is from an old newspaper clipping. Some words were obscured by dried flour, and I successfully scraped it off the old newspaper to read every word.

“Sliced green tomato pickle is so good that it might be eaten by the plateful with bread and butter like jam if one were sure the supply would hold out. Usually this best of pickles is gone long before the family is tired of it, so this year let us all make a good generous quantity of it and keep everybody happy by always allowing large helpings. I will give the quantities required for one peck of green tomatoes (about 17 tomatoes that are the size of a baseball)and when a larger quantity is desired the portions may easily be doubled or trebled.

Cut a thin slice from each end of the tomatoes, then slice them thin and place them in layers in a porcelain-lined bowl or large crock, sprinkling a cupful of salt between the layers. If onions are especially liked (and Grandma always used them), add 6 or 8 to each peck of tomatoes, slicing and mixing them with the tomatoes. In the morning a large quantity of liquor will have accumulated. This should be drained from the tomatoes and thrown away. Then cover the slices with one and a half quarts of vinegar and one and a half quarts of boiling water mixed, and cook gently fifteen minutes. Drain again and discard the liquid.

Now make a dressing of a gallon of good cider vinegar, 2 pounds of brown sugar, 3 or 4 red pepper pods cut in strips, one tablespoonful of white mustard seed, half a cupful of stick cinnamon broken in pieces, a tablespoonful of whole cloves and a few bits of mace. Tie these spices in a bit of muslin for they must be removed from the pickle when it is finished, otherwise they would turn it dark. Cook this dressing for ten minutes, then add the sliced tomatoes and simmer very carefully for half an hour.

Remove the spice bag and place the pickles in fruit jars and pour the sirup over them. Seal like preserves or canned fruit and do not begin to use for 3 weeks. “


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