Archive for the ‘Cabbage’ Category

Green Tomato Relish

The frost came and the garden is finished for the year.  I recieved 1/2 pickle bucket of green tomatoes from a friend before the frost got his tomatoes.  I’ve waited all summer for this time to come; last of the seasons tomatoes to turn into Green Tomato Relish.

This is a wonderful relish for hot dogs, cold meats, burgers, or brown beans etc.

That said let’s get to the nitty gritty.  There is LOTS of prep with the recipe.  Every vegetable must be coarsely ground in a food processor and the prep on the green tomatoes will take you awhile.  This recipe is definately worth the time you’ll put in.

Wash your green tomatoes before you start.

I always use smaller tomatoes; from the wee little ones to med. size.  The larger the tomato the more seeds and you want as few seeds as possible in this recipe.

Quarter each tomato and if the core is large slice it out like you’re seeding and apple.  The core produces a slight bitter taste.

The smaller the tomato the less seeds it has as you can see on the left this tomato needs to have it’s seeds removed.
One way to do this is to take your thumb nail and run it from top to bottom along each side of the quarter piece; the action is like scooping out the seeds.

Grind each vegetable in a food processor after they’ve drained.

Place the vinegar and sugar in a enamel or stainless steel pot; bring to a boil and once sugar is melted add all the vegetables and spice ball.  Bring to a boil again and simmer for 15 minutes.  I like to stir this alot so the spices get a chance to mix up in the juice.

Place in jars and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Your reward is a beautiful jar of relish.

Green Tomato Relish

Makes 5 1/2 pts.

6 c. green tomatoes, coarsely ground
5 c. (1 head) cabbage, coarsely ground
1 med. red bell pepper
1 med. sweet banana pepper
1 lg. onion
1 c. carrots, coarsely ground
1/2 c. ( 2 stalks) celery, coarsely ground
Canning salt
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. celery seeds

Coarsely gind all vegetables in a food processor, one at a time.  Place onions and peppers in a strainer and sprinkle with canning salt; stir to mix.  Place green tomatoes in another strainer, sprinkle with canning salt; stir to mix.  Place strainers over bowls to allow liquid from vegetables to drain off.  Let stand for 1 to 12 hours.  Sit cabbage, carrots and celery aside for later.

Once vegetables have drained.
In a enamel or stainless steel pot over medium heat add the vinegar and sugar; stir till sugar is melted.  Put the spices in a bag (cheese cloth or metal tea strainer) and add to liquid; simmer for 5 minutes.  Discarding the drain liquid add all vegetables to the pot. Stir well to mix.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes; stirring often.

Pack simmering mixture in hot jars, leaving 1/8″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  Improves with keeping for several months.


Kraut In Jars Update

Sunday, 26 June, 2011

In a previous post ) I listed an old recipe for Sauerkraut in Jars from my Great Grandmother;  I’ve an important update for you.

I was discussing this recipe with one of my elderly Home Health clients and she explained to me that the jars they used back when the recipe was written are different from the ones we use now.  She explained that the jars her mother used had aluminum lids with glass inlaid in the underside.  She said that her mother would place a rubber ring on the rim of the jar, filled with kraut, and then place the lid on; leaving it slightly ajar.  Over the next few weeks the Kraut would ferment in the jar releasing the gas from inside and as this progressed her mother would slowly screw the lid down on the jar.  Her mother would keep the Kraut jars on top of newspaper or in large pans incase the jars should leak while fermenting.

All this said I had to take a look-see at mine and discovered that most of the jars that were sealed, when I put them away in the dark cabinet, are now unsealed and fermenting.   I am not sure how to progress from here and will be keeping an eye on the jars.  I’m in hopes that they will reseal themselves when they’re done fermenting.  This is turning into a learning experiment for me and hopefully you all too.

Here is a picture of the jar explained above.  My mother had/has a small collection of these jars with lids.

Blessed with rain

Yesterday afternoon the rain started and lasted only about an hour; though it did give the garden a good drink.  Woke up this morning to more rain; not sure how long it rained.  So glad it rained, it’s not rained since late May.

I was lazy yesterday and didn’t can the last of the cabbage till this morning.  I got 4 quarts this time.  I noticed that the first 5 qts. of boiled cabbage I canned looked, to me, a bit over cooked.  This time I didn’t steam it as long in the pan and cut the pressure cooking time down to 45 minutes instead of 55 minutes.  The look of the cabbage in the jars have a marked difference.  The first was slighly dark and this batch is greener.  I may have to cook it some when I open up a jar to use, but I’d rather do that than have mushy cabbage.  Here’s hoping the first five are NOT mushy.
Here’s a picture for comparison.

I forgot to mention that my Dad planted the okra on June 1.  It is comming up slowly.  Haven’t counted but I’d guess they’re over 100 plants.  Plenty to share, pickle, and put in the deep-freezer.

I Pickled 3 more cucumber, squash, onion and garlic mixtures today.  This time I added a few seeded and sliced sweet banana peppers to the mix.  I also made 1 jar of dill pickles.

Cabbage Canning and more

The sun continues to bake my cabbage so I’ve pulled them all up except for a few that the worms are still feasting on.  The red cabbage got a late start and never made any heads.  The worms have chewed on one of them so much it looks like a skelton of it’s orginal self.  I canned what I picked Tuesday on Thursday; got 5 qts. of boiled cabbage. I’ve 7 small heads to can today.

Here’s a picture of some squash, cucumbers, onions, garlic and dill I pickled while I was waiting on the pressure cooker to get done with the boiled  cabbage.

     The green beans are finally putting off and I’ve a few pints to can today.  I picked 11 cucumbers today.  I’ve already pickled 3 jars; looks like we’ll have plenty if they keep growing at this rate.  I counted 8 cantalopes on Dad’s plants this morning.  Made his day when he called this morning; he’s off at a Bluegrass festival for a week.
     I’ve picked a few baby zucchini for a dish I’m making tonight.  The plants are huge and beautiful, but the zucchini and squash are taking their time get large.  It has been so HOT (95 degree days).  I plan on watering them every other day to see if it makes a difference.

Here’s a few “canning boiled cabbage” pictures & “how to”:

Cut the cabbage in half and cut into wedges; removing the core.
Add water, about 2-inches up, in a large pot and add the cabbage.  Bring to a boil; place lid on.  Turn fire down and steam 5 minutes. 
Pack in jars.  Heat lids in a sauce pan of 2″ water.  Place 1 tsp. canning salt in each jar.  Using your “Bubble Freer” or knife,  slide it down into the jars of cabbage along the sides to remove any trapped air; the bubbles will float to the top. Put lids and rings on jars; screwing tight.
Place in pressure cooker with 2 to 3 qts of water.  Place lid on pressure cooker leaving steam toggle open till the water inside comes to a full boil.  Put toggle down and bring pressure up to 10 lbs.  Keep pressure at 10 lbs for 55 minutes for quarts.  You’ll have to adjust the heat every so often.  My mother taught me to never leave a pressure cooker unattended.  After 55 mins. remove pressure cooker from heat.  Leave to cool completely (pressure guage at 0) before opening.  Do Not lift pressure togle till then.
  Remove jars to a towel in a draft free place and wait to hear that popping seal sound. :O)
((Directions adapted from my Kerr Canning Book.))

Canning Kraut and updates

     Hope everyones garden is doing well.  We’ve been busy in ours.  We’ve not had a phone since last Tuesday.  A storm blew through last Monday night and knocked over 6 trees on our mile long road to the county road.  Dad and I are looking forward to lots of fire wood.  I have a dail-up connection back here in the ‘sticks’ so there’s an excuse this time for being so long to post.  Thank-God for the wonderful man from Kansas who his helping out our local AT&T repairmen.
   I’ve spent the past week trying to kill cabbage worms.  As I’ve said before the rains we’ve had have allowed them to settle in.  It is hard to apply a powder deterent when it’s always gonna rain. 

I’ve had to pull up and throw away two now.  I went ahead and pulled three up yesterday and shredded them for Sauerkraut today.  I made 6 quart jars.  I’m using my mothers old Miracle Whip jars she’d saved through the years.  Here’s the recipe I used: (exact wording written by my Mother. A notation to the side says “Grandmothers”.)

Kraut In Jars
Place shredded cabbage in quart jar.  Press down gently.  Add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. sugar.  Fill jar with hot water.  Screw the top down tight.  In a few weeks the kraut is good.

A few NOTES:  Since the recipe doesn’t state how hot the water should be I brought mine to a boil and then dipped the water into the jars and I used “Canning Salt” instead of regular Iodized (NOT FOR CANNING) salt.  I heated my lids in hot water for 5 to 10 mins. before placing them on the jars with the rings.  I’ve learned from several sources to place the cooled jars in a cool dark place till fermented and ready to eat.


With no rain since last week the garden is finally dry enough for Dad to ’till’ it today.  It really needed it.

The potatoes are starting to bloom.  Dad was asking when to dig them up and according to my info from The Garden we’re to wait 2 to 3 weeks after flowering to dig up the potatoes.  If we want late potatoes for storage, we need to wait 2 to 3 weeks after the foliage dies back.

Garden Update

May 23, 2011

 I have to say that my Dad has made the garden look so beautiful.  So far the Bermuda grass has not returned in full force.  I believe the tilling this winter and after planting has helped.  (Thought I’d never say that.)

 With Dad sprinkling the 10-20-10 fertilizer around every week the garden is growing big.  The cabbage plants are making heads and I’ve clipped lower leaves off all of them 3 different times now.  It’s amazing to see them make cabbage heads.  One of my Home Health clients has told me her sister (who always had a beautiful garden) would take the large leaves of the cabbage plants and clothes pin them over the head to keep the sun from scorching it.  I’ve done that to about 4 but I’m concerned that the leaves tightly covering the head will keep it from getting larger or deform it.

 The rain has returned the past two days and Dad is itching to till the rows.  The purple hull peas he replanted are coming along great and he is anxious for his tomatoes to get bigger.  They are about 3 feet tall right now and have blooms on them.  He planted more radishes about 4 days ago and some carrots; right were my okra was supposed to go.  Glad there’s still a two row patch above the squash were I can plant it.  I did want a larger area since I want to have enough to share.  Think I’ll try to squeeze in another row somewhere else; who knows. :O)

The cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes, watermelon, and tomatoes have bright yellow flowers on them.  There is a squash on one of the plants.

I cut some of my leaf lettuce yesterday and we had it for supper mixed with some bag salad.  I don’t think that it would have survived with out Dad fertilizing it.  There are only a few romaine plants that survived and they are only 4-inches tall right now.  (Fingers crossed)  

7:00p.m.   Just went out to check on the garden.  I spotted one of the cabbage plants with a worm hole in it.  It had drilled into the center of the core and ate it up.  I pulled the plant up; roots and all.  Disposed of it in the woods away from the garden.  That’s one down.  Forty-three left.

Productive Day

A wonderful productive day in the garden. 
* Raked dirt up around the potato plants, cabbage, sweet banana peppers, and squash.
Cabbage, Green Beans and corn* Trimmed the lower leaves off the cabbage. (A man Dad knows told him that cutting the lower leaves off the cabbage plants helped them concentrate on making heads; instead of feeding the needless lower leaves.)
* Planted marigolds beside every other tomato plant.  (Helps keep the worms away.)Dad tilling the green beans
* Dad tilled the whole garden with the rotatiller.

   You probably noticed, in the pictures, the white plastic circles around the plants.  My Dad takes a pickle bucket and cuts the bottom out and then cuts them in half.  We use these halves to place around some of the plants to help catch and contain water.  These work really well.  One day last week, after a heavy rain, I went up to check the garden and Dad’s cantaloupe circles were filled with water; covering the plants.  Yeah, they work really well. :O)
Potatoes, Onions, Cucumbers
  The rains had done quite a job on moving the sandy dirt around in the garden.  Tilling it made all the beans, corn and purple hull peas really stand out. They’re just coming up and were hard to see next to the light colored sandy soil.  They are all growing well, which surprises me because of all the rain.  It is due to rain again today and again tomorrow and Monday.  I’m loving the cool weather,  but I’m missing the sunshine.
   Poison ivy and poison oak are growing here and there around the edge of the garden and near the house; whenever the sun comes out long enough I’ll be spraying it with Round Up.

Here is the scoot along I promised to show you a picture of.

Okay, so I am a procrastinator.  Today I finally planted the herbs in the small area I originally created for full-sun flowers only.   The rosemary and Lavender I bought weeks ago are still alive and growing.  Along with these two I’ve bought sweet basil, Greek oregano and sage.  I know that traditionally a herb garden is supposed to be by your back door, but there is no place for a full-sun garden there.  Mine is down by the garage which is about 100 ft or so down a slight hill.  One thing I like about it being there is when I go to work and come home it is right there to greet me.  I look forward to the smells it will produce, especially the lavender and rosemary.  I also planted some profusion zinnias along the rock edge (front center) which haven’t come up yet.  The pink tall zinnias I had in there last year may come back.  I’ve been pulling up little green sprouts of Wandering Jew and such in preparation of planting the herbs, so who knows I may have pulled then up.

Here’s a view:

Always remember you can click on any picture to see the full size view.

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