Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tis the Season End

Well, here in the U.S., we are at the end of our gardening season.  It seems many gardens are still giving us produce, but it can't happen for too much longer.
Eventually cold and frost will hit our areas, one by one.

We get to the end of gardening, and we wonder what the heck else can we put up for the winter season. 

Once threat of freeze is here, the green tomatoes have to come off the vines.  Many people wrap them and put them in a dark, cool spot to ripen.
There are a couple other options too.
We absolutely love green tomato relish.  Our family likes it as well, and most of us are totally happy with a spoon and a jar!!!!

Here are a couple other options:

5 C green tomato (chopped fine)
5 C sugar
1/4 C lemon juice
1 - 6 oz. packet of Jello (what ever flavor you want)
Mix tomatoes, sugar, and lemon juice and boil for 5 minutes.  remove from heat and stir in Jello.
Pour into jelly jars (leave 1/2" headroom) and process in water bath for 5 minutes.

Slice your tomatoes a bit thicker than you would for frying fresh.  Stack/pack in a wide mouth jar (get as many in as possible).  Add 1/2 tsp. salt per quart and 1/2 tsp. citric acid OR 1 Tbsp. lemon juice per jar.
Cover with boiling water and leave 1/2" headroom.  Water bath for 40 minutes.
When ready to fry, drain all liquid.  I also lay tomatoes on paper or towels to absorb as much liquid as possible.
Coat as you would fresh and FRY away!
Such a wonderful treat in the dead of winter!!!!!!!

Extra ripe tomatoes and peppers?  Have you made all the sauce and salsa and stewed tomatoes that you can stand? Remember you can also freeze whole tomatoes in skins to use in canning at a later date.  The peels will fall right off when thawed.
OR try making a batch of Rotel.

Click on recipe to enlarge for easy reading.

5 lbs. cabbage shredded
3 1/2 Tbsp. salt
Mix and let mixture set for 30-60 minutes
Pack into jars - leaving 2" head space.  Fill up to 1/2" with cold water.  Place lids and seals on tightly.
Set someplace in a cool, dark place.  Place on paper or in a place that it can drain when fermenting.
Leave it for 6 - 8 weeks.  Check WEEKLY, and top off with COLD SALT BRINE (1 1/2 Tbsp. salt per quart of water).  I keep extra salt brine in frig for future uses.
Replace flat lids with new, and water bath  (start with cold water in WB).  Process 30 minutes after boil is reached.

Make pickles or relish, just substitute zucchini instead of cucumbers.
Shred and freeze in appropriate measured baggies for sweet bread.
Thinly slice and dehydrate - great for soups.  Add salt or garlic/onion  powder and dehydrate slices for munching.  These make great tasty chip treats.
Cut up in chunks for using in stir fry and freeze.

Too many peppers?
Here you go:

3 green (or red) bell peppers - minced     Red pepper looks pretty in gifts for holidays!
2 (4 oz.) cans of diced jalapenos drained (or equivalent  of finely chopped fresh)
1 1/2 C distilled white vinegar
6 1/2 C white sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (6 oz.) liquid pectin
5 drops green food color

In a large stainless steel pot combine peppers, vinegar, sugar and cayenne.  Cook over medium heat.  Stir frequently until mixture begins to boil.
Stir in pectin; boil for 5 minutes longer, stir constantly, then add food color.  Skim foam.
Ladle into hot sterilized jars and process in water bath for 5 minutes.

Look for ways to save (in a cool dark spot) all those winter squash and pumpkins as well.  They will keep for many months when kept cool and dry.  Same with potatoes and sweet potatoes.

There are so many ways to use up the last bounty of fall.  No need to let things go to waste - make it all into something that will be yummy and much appreciated this winter.

Do you have ANY END OF SEASON RECIPES to share?

Happy harvest!


  1. I usually use the last of the green tomatoes to make pickled green tomatoes. I give them to my farther-in-law as a Christmas gift. He said they are wonderful on top of hamburgers. I will add sliced green tomatoes to his list as well. I have to smack his hand away when the first green tomatoes arrive. If I didn't there would never be a ripe one! *smile*

    1. Wendi, those are wonderful gifts. I bet he very much appreciates them - I know I would.
      I have a rule here - no fried green tomatoes until I get my first couple of ripe ones!
      Nothing better than fried green tomatoes.

  2. So many wonderful ideas here. I still have some green roma tomatoes that I took off the vines before our frost hit. I wish I had been at my mother's place earlier though because she had huge green tomatoes and the frost got them all.

    1. Oh nooooooooo. How horrible to have lost a bunch of regular tomatoes. That is sad - so much yumminess gone.
      Luckily no frost here yet.

  3. We have had two light frosts and this week warm again, but next week ? BRRR ! will be nice for a change...winter goes faster when it starts earlier ? LOL !

  4. No frost here yet. We have had cool nights. I am NOT ready for winter yet!!!!