In a pickle
What do you do when you have a bushel of green tomatoes? You pickle!
On a recent afternoon, I enlisted the help of Joy Belyeu of the Farmhouse, and together we put up 36 quarts of pickled tomatoes and onions, all from the Farmhouse’s garden. I love to can! Every step requires strict attention to detail to ensure that not only is the end result food safe but also it tastes good. I have an added criterion in that I like my pickled goods to look good in the jar. To that end, it’s all about the layering and colors. Since the jars will sit on an open shelf in the Farmhouse kitchen, why not have the contents be colorful as well, adding a dash of red in an otherwise green and white landscape?
I taught myself how to can when faced with an abundant bounty from my and Steve’s first garden in Serenbe – before we opened the Serenbe B&B (which later became the Inn at Serenbe). Acclaimed landscape designer extraordinaire Ryan Gainey designed our vegetable garden, and Steve put it in. Ours is the only vegetable garden for which Ryan accepted a commission. And what a garden it has been for us and now for the Farmhouse at Serenbe!
I’m encouraged that the practice of canning and pickling is experiencing a resurgence. Information abounds on the Internet about how to can. Ball has a great website, complete with recipes and instructions, as does the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
There are terrific economic and health benefits to taking up the practice of home canning and pickling. With an abundance of fresh produce at area farmers markets, now is the time to dive in and learn to can.
Come to the Serenbe Farmers Market on Saturdays, 9 am – 12 pm, now through November, and pick up your favorite produce so you too can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor in the middle of winter.
Green Tomato Pickles
3 cups thinly sliced green tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup cherry bomb peppers
5-10 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2-3 sprigs fennel blossom or parsley
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in a large glass bowl and cover with a plate to submerge. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Then can place in a plastic container and refrigerate. Good for 1 month.