Green Tomato Relish

I may be spilling a family secret here… sorry Pop… but seriously, this recipe should be shared far and wide, it’s DELICIOUS!!!!Technically my lovely late Pop’s recipe is for ripe tomatoes, but due to a glut of green tomatoes (three buckets full) at the end of their growing season this batch is green… (well kind of sludge brown, but if it deters others from munching it then all the more for me!).

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Three buckets of green tomatoes makes quite a lot of relish, and as most of them were cherry tomatoes it took a looooong time to prepare. I’d recommend using large tomatoes as it is so much easier in the slicing phase… I was up till midnight. But the results were worth it. I also made a hot spicy batch for those that prefer a little kick.  And I know, I know… what’s with the funny little fabric jar toppers… Well I found some offcuts of calico and thought I’d make some look pretty so I’d have ready to go gifts – 6 jars already gone.

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SWEET TOMATO RELISH RECIPE (A la Horrie Hay)

1.5kg tomatoes (ripe or green depending on what your garden has thrown at you!)

2 large brown onions

2 cups brown vinegar

4 level cups of sugar

1 level tsp of curry powder

1 level tsp of mustard (or not in my case)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Method: Soak tomatoes in hot water so skin will come off easily (I totally skipped this step with the green toms… I mean really, that would have been FAR too tedious!). Cut up tomatoes with onions and sprinkle with salt. Leave overnight. Next day: Drain off liquid. Add vinegar to ingredients. Bring to boil. Add sugar, curry, mustard and cayenne. boil about 1 hour. Thicken with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of plain flour mixed with vinegar. Make as thick as jam.  Store in sterilized jars. Enjoy!

HOT TOMATO RELISH RECIPE

2.5kg green tomatoes

0.5kg onions

4tsps salt

1L malt vinegar

0.5kg soft light brown sugar

3 tsp ground pepper

Method: Finely slice onions and green tomatoes. Add salt and stir – cover and leave overnight. Next day: Place a litre of vinegar into a large pan, add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Drain tomato/onion mix and add to vinegar mix with white pepper. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil for 1.5 to 2 hours until thick. Pop into sterilized jars and enjoy!

Jardin

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Jardin (Garden in Spanish). I love my jardin. I love escaping into it, getting to know the existing residents, introducing new ones. I wonder what path this love affair will take me down?

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Lavender Lemonade

Inspired by a yummy gift from a girlfriend, homemade lemon cordial, and a garden bursting with one of my favourite plants…. I tried my hand at LAVENDER LEMONADE.

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I picked about 20 flower heads…. as many as you see in the basket… I did this first thing in the morning (when their essential oils are their most potent). After a quick rinse (I have an organic garden so no worries about drinking any chemicals) I put them in a bowl with 6 cups of boiling water, essentially making lavender tea, and let them sit over night.

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In the morning I strained the tea and added the juice of nine lemons, another 6 cups of water and then 3 tablespoons of honey (you can add as much or as little as you’d like depending on your sweet tooth). After a vigorous stir all the honey dissolved and guess what…. THAT’S IT!  Lavender Lemonade!!! YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!

No it doesn’t taste like some kind of perfume or potpourri experiment gone wrong…. it’s REALLY lovely and refreshing. Probably more suited to summer than to the 0 degree temps we’ve been waking up to this week, but hey, make Lemonade while the Lavender flowers!

With the quantities I used I was able to make three bottles worth. Next batch I’ll be making a whole lot more. What I really need to do is sacrifice one bottle to see how long you can keep it before it goes off….. but there is no way I’m going to be able to hold back from drinking it. In fact I had friends over today and we polished off one bottle, and I’m off for a weekend away with some girlfriends…. so, doubt it will last till sat really!

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DIY herb tags

A little craftiness of the “three R” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) variety.

This project is a cheap/free way of beautifying your veggie patch or herb pots, and also saves some plastic from the recycling bin!

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Chop up some plastic containers into flat sections  – whatever size /shape takes your fancy.

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Give one side of the flat section two coats of blackboard paint (wear gloves… it’s is REALLY hard to get off your hands!!!)

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Once paint is dry you can glue (use a wood glue or the like) sticks (I used old ice-block sticks) to the back.

Now you can write / draw on your mini signs…. you can use normal chalk, or a chalkboard pen if you’re wanting it to be a bit more permanent.

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You’ll see these little gems pop up in a project I’m working on at the moment – post to come soon. You could also use these as name tags for dinner parties (perhaps without the sticks), for labeling gifts…. LOTS of possibilities.

Picking Pumpkins

I went on a treasure hunt with my sister this morning…. we were harvesting our pumpkins! Aren’t they gorgeous. What amazing colours, patterns and textures. Ahhhh, the taste of winter…. homemade pumpkin soup coming up!

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