It is the end of the season. The garden now buried under a blanket of fall leaves. There is little left to harvest, just some straggly zinnias, the last gasp of peppers, the perennial herbs, and green tomatoes.
With news of the first hard frost approaching, it was time to clean the plots. I had collected some tomatoes but not enough to do anything with until I received a call from my neighbor offering me their green tomatoes and the remainder of the Swiss chard for the chickens. It was serendipitous; now I had enough to can.
I decided to try my hand at green tomato salsa. A quick page-through of the Ball canning book helped create the following recipe. I figured a salsa would get more use than a chutney (my second choice) or even a vegetarian mince (inspired by my Irish friend).
Here is my recipe:
Canning is always evocative of one of my favorite Fall stories, “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.” It is my favorite of all of Louisa May Alcott’s works. Here is the passage I love,
“November had come; the crops were in, and barn, buttery, and bin were overflowing with the harvest that rewarded the summer’s hard work. The big kitchen was a jolly place just now, for in the great fireplace roared a cheerful fire; on the walls hung garlands of dried apples, onions, and corn; up aloft from the beams shone crook-necked squashes, juicy hams, and dried venison–for in those days deer still haunted the deep forests, and hunters flourished. Savory smells were in the air; on the crane hung steaming kettles, and down among the red embers copper saucepans simmered, all suggestive of some approaching feast.”
The idea of putting away my harvest for food for the impending winter is very satisfying.
I wish this were my pantry. There is something special about home canned foods. It’s economical, healthy and just satisfying to look upon something you made. I’ve found that people seem to like preserves as gifts.
Do you can? What is your favorite thing to put up?