Filed under: @ 9:25 am

Granted, something I’m not quite sure of having happened to my cucumber vines, I only got about two cucumbers this year so we’re not talking pickled cucumbers, but by god, pickles they are.
I’ve been working over the last few years at modifying and personalizing my aunt Doris’ recipe for green tomato pickles. Possibly because they were one of the foods that my mother craved while pregnant (after Matt was born Dad actually threatened open revolt if Mom brought another bottle of green tomato pickles into the house) I’ve always been rather fond of green tomato pickles. I guess the genes for food preference run deep.
Doris’ recipe is a little plain and, as I found the first time I used it, quite salty and VERY pungent. The first batch I made to Doris’ plan stayed around for years before we plowed our way through them. Since we’ve been in this house, that is, since I’ve yearly had the tomato patch from the Black Lagoon, I’ve had the chance to tweak and modify and this year’s batch is DAMN good.
As part of preparing for Joan & Tony’s visit next week I’ve been spending most of the last three days doing my version of fall house cleaning. Those of you who garden will understand why picking green tomatoes and making pickles counts as cleaning house. For those who don’t garden I will offer as explanation that today my house cleaning chores will also include raking leaves and sweeping the driveway. It’s a perversion, I’ll admit.
Anyway I ended up with about two gallons of hard green tomatoes. As the years go by and my garden matures I’m getting closer and closer to my goal of having my pickles all be home grown. This year I managed the tomatoes, the beans, and the onions. I’ll have to remember to plant more Walla Walla sweet onions next year, I think they’re going to be the best choice for further batches of ANY type of pickle. Next year the garlic patch out front will be big enough to supply my pickling needs, I’ll have another chance to work on growing my own ginger, and I’ll be finally finished with the frozen dill that I bought two years ago so my pickles will have home grown dill too. When I get around to making my own vinegar y’all will know for sure that I’ve officially lost it.
I tend to make my pickle brine based on whim.
This year the tomato pickles ended up with a base of white vinegar sweetened up and cut down with red wine vinegar and just a touch of balsamic. Add about half a cup of pickling salt, about a quarter cup of brown sugar, a whiff of garlic (okay, more than a whiff…. MUCH more than a whiff), a righteous chunk of ginger and if I must say so myself
If the fragments of pickled onion that I snorfed down while getting the jars packed before sealing them are any indication, these are going to mature into some truly serious pickles. Please come over to taste!

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