Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Green Tomato Jam with Cinnamon and Ginger

It's green tomato glut time!

During the last few late-autumn weeks, we have watched the last tomato blossoms swell into green globes--hard, smooth, shiny, and decidedly not destined for a salad-- since they will not ripen before the hard freezes come. If you cleaned out your garden and have a big bunch of green tomatoes on your hands, you can try to ripen up some of your harvest, but you'll inevitably be left with at least a few that simply won't turn.

I'm amazed by the amount of creativity that goes into using up the last of those green summer tomatoes. The internet is filled with relishes, salsas, soups, chutneys, pickles. Of course there's the infamous fried green tomatoes, which I have never personally tried *ducks--I know, I know! There are even pies and cobblers with green tomatoes filling in--and on that sweet note, I learned that green tomatoes can be made into jam (but really, can't just about anything be made into jam?). Being the big jam family that we are, I decided I must try it.

The result? Definitely GREEN, definitely not what one expects from jam, yet incredibly good. Having three sons, the 'weird green' factor is actually a good thing. We love this new concoction!

I combined a couple of recipes to come up with this one, and it is unbelievably tasty. Like, oh my gosh, someone-take-this-spoon-away-from-me delicious. I had serious doubts about making green tomato jam, but I'm so excited about how it turned out. Whether spread on a pb&j sandwich, or on toasted homemade bread with butter, or swirled into plain yogurt (which I tried immediately and loved), this jam will be an awesome addition to your homemade jam repertoire.

Green Tomato Jam with Cinnamon and Ginger                 Print Recipe Here

4 pounds green tomatoes
4 c. sugar
1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 inch piece of ginger

1. Remove stems from tomatoes and cut out any bad spots. Roughly chop the tomatoes and then pulse in a food processor or blender until you get the consistency you like. Process the tomatoes in small batches, pouring them into a heavy-bottomed 4 quart pot as you go.

2. Once all the tomatoes are pureed to your liking and in the pot, zest and juice the lemon. Skin and mince the ginger (I pulsed it in the food processor a few times, scraping down the sides to make sure it was all minced). Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, minced ginger, and cinnamon stick to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring well.

3. Let the mixture boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on the thickness you want for the finished jam. Remove the cinnamon stick after 10 or 15 minutes, and continue to boil, adjusting heat to avoid too much splattering from the hot tomatoes. Stir often. The jam will thicken and become darker green the longer you cook it, so this is where your preference comes into play.

4. Once the jam has thickened, place into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims, place lids and rings on the jars, and process in a boiling water bath (water covering jars by at least one inch) for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and let sit on a towel on the counter overnight. If any jars didn't seal, put those in the refrigerator and eat first. The sealed jars will keep for a year.

Makes about 7 half-pints (with a little extra to eat right away, which you will want to do! Just make sure someone is around to pry that spoon out of your hands before you get too crazy).

If you have a favorite way to use green tomatoes, be sure to comment, and leave a link if you have one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Garlic and Commitment

Noah helping me make room for garlic.
I think he just wanted to use those bypass loppers.

Garlic, garlic everywhere. Including, in my mailbox!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Forager's Find: Quince

Is it an apple? A pear? Why does it smell so amazing? What is this unusual fruit with a solid place throughout written history? It is a quince. Chances are, you may not have heard of it--
but I know you'd like to.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Earth Bucket Success!

A few months ago I showed you how I got down and dirty with some simple power tools to make 'Earth Buckets', which is just a fun and fancy name for 'self-watering bucket planters.' These buckets have proven themselves nicely successful with my first experiment: sweet peppers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Easiest Tomato Sauce You'll Ever Make

*I originally published this post in the fall of 2013, but I bumped it up so no one would miss it!*

It seems I always turn to this method because it is such a tasty and SIMPLE way to preserve tomatoes. Very little mess, no peeling tomatoes, and you'll use the sauce for so many things.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Must. Find. Apples.

This is it, all that is left from last year's applesauce making. I'm actually impressed we have three whole quarts left (one of which I broke into yesterday), because we tend to eat a lot of applesauce, whether plain, baked into recipes, or

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meaty Meatless Burgers

Let me start out by saying: I am not a vegetarian. But, I'm pretty darn close.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Potato Towers-The Harvest

Our tiny harvest. Those left in the container had been chewed up
by some little critter before we dug them up.
The critter certainly appreciated our potato growing efforts.