It has been exactly one year to the day since my very first post here on Kitchen Apparel.  One year and 66 post later I thought it might be fun to mark the occasion of my blog's anniversary by going back to that very first recipe.  Back to my humble and naive beginnings, when I was just a girl with a new domain name and web host (whatever the hell those things are anyway?).  Figuring out the details that go into making a website caused many long nights, oodles of swear words, and more tears then I care to remember.  I'm not exactly an easygoing person when things don't work how I expect them to, but I eventually worked out the kinks and developed a rhythm that suits me.  And I'd like to think that in one year I've learned my way around the blogosphere, but with every new click I fall deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

    This wonderland of bloggers has been by far the most rewarding aspect of this whole journey.  The characters I have met and the new friends I have made (and continue to make), are the driving force of my continued efforts.  In all honesty I started this blog because I needed it.  I always desperately wanted to be a stay at home mother, but after doing it for three years I discovered that I was no longer able to find myself among the routine and the plastic toys.  I devoted so much effort and time into my children that I had lost who I was, I lost that spark that was, ME.  Once I learned that it was ok to place importance on myself I began to recreate who I was, and I started to soar.  With this blog and the support from those of you reading, I have found something so much more than just a hobby or a side project.  I have found a legitimate home.            
    I have run through so many feelings and ideas as to what I wanted to make of my blog or what I wanted to get out of it.  I've decided that the measurement of success is not what is important or necessarily why I choose to write and photograph my lunch.  I do this because it makes me happy.  It provides me with a healthy challenge. Every day I learn something new or become inspired in a way that changes my life, even in the smallest of details.  I can't be something or someone I'm not, so every day I learn that I have to love who I am, and always be my authentic self. 

    Yup, that is me down there.  The baby screaming.  I was told that I did that, a lot.  I love this picture.  I love it because I am surrounded by three of the most influential women in my life.  All three of them are still around supporting me in every way possible.  I am the most lucky person because I have always had my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother looking out for me.  If you remember my first post, or if you took a quick peek, you know that it was dedicated to my great grandmother, Ethel Gidney.  I spent many times as a young girl in her kitchen learning how to make bread or Christmas stolen.  She is one of the most amazing people I know, and in a few months she will be turning one hundred and three.  It boggles the mind, doesn't it?  The things she has seen, the time, the advances in technology.  A year ago I couldn't think of any better way to start my blog, and now on my first anniversary there is no better way to celebrate it.
    In one year I have totally changed my mind about food and I'll admit I have completely immersed myself into the new canning culture.  I might be a walking blogging stereotype but if that is the case I couldn't care less.  I love canning and I love how you can take the best of each season and save it in a jar.  I was so proud of myself this year because not only did I make green tomato relish, but this year I used green tomatoes from my own garden. A lot of them, twelve pounds to be exact.  It was a little bit of a full circle moment for me, as silly as it sounds.  Canning was always something I wanted to try but I was never brave enough to do it.  If there is one thing this year has taught me, its that we should never push off learning something new because it seems difficult or scary.  My very first post on this website was in fact my very first time canning.  It was a little scary, I'll admit, but starting this blog has always been about pushing myself.  It took me a while to find my confidence to even start this blog, but now that I am here I feel so empowered by everything thing I have learned.           

    So with a few jars full of "green stuff" in my bag I decided to take a trip up to see my great-grandmother to give her some.  I had a great day talking to her about the past and her family.  We talked about the green tomato relish and she asked if I wanted to see something.  See that big contraption (on the bottom left), that is her 1930's Hamilton Beach hand mixer that attaches to a grinder.  She told me that this was how she used to grind all the vegetables to make her relish.  Yeah, there were no food processors back then, and if there were, she didn't have one. We plugged in this antique and believe it or not, it actually still works.  I asked her why she started making green tomato relish and she said it was because her sister-in-law had a garden and they wanted to make something with all the vegetables she was growing at the time.  She found the recipe, and because it is so delicious, over the years it just became part of our family history.  

Granny's Green Tomato Relish

makes about 7 cups

6 cups of ground green tomatoes (about 12 large ones)
2 cups of ground onion (1-2 large ones)
1 cup of ground green peppers (1 large one)
2 cups of white vinegar
3 cups of sugar
1/8 cup of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon tumeric (optional - This time I left it out)

Cut, seed, and coarsely chop the green tomatoes and place in a food processor or blender.  Gently pulse tomatoes until they are finely minced (but not to the point of a puree) and place in a large bowl.  Do the same for the onion and pepper and add them to the tomato.   Bring water to a boil in either a tea kettle or saucepan and pour boiling water over the tomato, peppers, and onions completely covering them.  Let the whole thing stand for about 5 minutes and then strain out the water.  Place the mixture into a large saucepan or pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium to high heat and continue to boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Spoon hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space and place caps on.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
UPDATE:  The giveaway is now closed.  Thanks Everyone!!! 

* Well if you made it this far with me I have a little surprise. I have lots and lots of green tomato relish from this year I was thinking about doing a little giveaway. If you are interested in trying some of my green tomato relish then leave a comment below and on Friday, October 25th, I will pick someone at random to receive a 1/2 pint jar.  (United States only...sorry!)


10/21/2013 12:20pm

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Sandra! I so love reading all of your thoughtful posts, your (countless) escapades in canning, and getting to know you through Kitchen Apparel.

...and that Green Tomato Relish looks pretty darn good :)

10/21/2013 9:24pm

Thanks Chris!!!

Tomiko Peirano
10/21/2013 1:42pm

Congratulations on one year! Your images and words are inspiring and lovely. So happy to have been able to collaborate with you.

10/21/2013 9:25pm

Thanks Tomiko! And it was a pleasure working with you too :)

10/21/2013 2:01pm

Rock on girlfriend! One of the many reasons that I love your blog, is that you do your own thing. If you want to post 100 canning recipes go for it- that's what makes Kitchen Apparel YOU. And that's what makes you unique :)
I actually thought about how we first 'met' the other day... isn't the world of blogging wild? Um, and you know what else is wild? The fact that your great- grandmother is going to be 103!! How amazing to still have her in your lives (love that recipe card...).
Great post Sandra! xx

10/21/2013 9:27pm

It is really a strange way that we met, but I'm glad we did. Isn't the recipe card great...I didn't know if it would scan properly but actually it made the writing much clearer. I really would love to scan all of her recipes eventually....but there are ALOT.

10/21/2013 2:08pm

Sandra... my eyes are welling up with tears. This post is just so beautiful. I agree, I cannot think of anything more comforting than being surrounded by those who love and support you. You are incredibly fortunate to still have these 3 women in your life and the time spent with your great-grandmother is precious. How great is that recipe card? Amazing that your great-grandmother still has it. And the photo of the green tomatoes in your garden is breathtaking. Congratulations on your one year anniversary Sandra! Continue to make your blog everything you want it to be - xo.

And, I can't believe I actually qualify for a US based giveaway!!! :).

10/21/2013 9:28pm

Thanks Kelly. My great grandmother saved all her recipes, so she gave them to me and I preserved them all in a book for safekeeping. I would really love to start making more of her recipes in the future!

I'm so excited that you qualify too!!! fingers crossed X

Nancy Quiles
10/21/2013 4:54pm

Happy 1 year anniversary. You are truly an amazing woman....keep up the great work. I love what you do and you, lady inspire ME!

Thank you :-)

10/21/2013 9:29pm

Thanks Nancy! Love you lady :)

10/21/2013 6:04pm

One year! Congratulations and thank you for the inspiration.

10/21/2013 9:30pm

Thanks so much Suzy!

10/21/2013 6:41pm

Congrats, girl :) I'm so happy you're here and that you're sharing your recipes and bits of your world. I always enjoy reading everything that you write.

A little bummed about not being able to participate in your giveaway....the relish looks delicious...but thanks for sharing the recipe, I'll definitely be giving it a try.

10/21/2013 9:32pm

Sorry you don't qualify Sofia (I'm just being lazy because I don't want to deal with international shipping). Thanks so much, I'm glad we stumbled upon each other a while back :)

10/21/2013 6:59pm

Congrats Sandra! You've got a beautiful space here and I'm so glad to have found it! I love those pictures with the green apron and green tomatoes, just gorgeous. And wow, 3 generations of amazing women still in your life, that's quite the gift! Enjoy all that relish :)

10/21/2013 9:33pm

Thanks so much Katie. I'm so glad to have you in my circle of blogger friends :)

Joy Meade
10/21/2013 10:51pm

Oooooooh pick me! I have such fond memories of my grandmothers and great grandmothers homes with shelves lined with canned goodies! After many years, this month I finally gave canning a try making and canning applesauce.

10/22/2013 2:27am

That is so awesome!!! I love making applesauce too Joy. Applesauce will now forever be your gateway can :) Good luck with the giveaway...I would love to send you some of my relish!!!

10/22/2013 12:44pm

What do you do with the relish? I have many green tomatoes that I brought in last night and would love to try your recipie, but I don't know what it is used for...

10/22/2013 5:15pm

Relish can be used on hotdogs and hamburgers. I like to put some in tuna fish or egg salad. On top of deviled eggs or toast. You could top some baked fish or pot roast. My mother used to mix it with mayo to make a homemade tartar sauce for fish sticks.

It is a nice addition to sandwiches...anything that needs an extra kick of flavor. This green relish is very sweet and also tangy (because of the vinegar).

Hope that gives you a few ideas. It is not a very well known condiment but I really LOVE it :)

Peggy Pot
10/23/2013 12:31am

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! Today is my first visit to your site, which was recommended because I just picked a bushel of green tomatoes. Yay! I will try your recipe.

10/23/2013 11:33am

Thanks Peggy. I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit :)

10/23/2013 5:23pm

OMG, I'm loving the recipe card and the antique photos. And what a sweet pic of you and your great grandmother. Great post!

10/23/2013 8:34pm

Thanks Julianne!!! I'm a sucker for my family history...especially when it comes to food ;)

10/23/2013 10:54pm

Happy 1st year blog anniversary! And what a great post- your great-grandmother rocks!

I have a few green tomatoes left and I'm hoping to try out your recipe. I'm not in the US but if I win, you can send it to my mom! =)

10/23/2013 11:45pm

Thanks Jane....if you win I would be more then happy to send the jar to your mom!!! :)

10/23/2013 11:02pm

Great memories usually make for great food! The card and pic are priceless. Congrats on your anniversary.

10/23/2013 11:48pm

Thanks Jacki :)

10/24/2013 12:44am

I have been searching for my Grandma's green tomato relish recipe. One of my friends posted your blog on my fb wall and I am so excited! This just might be it! Love your giveaway idea. Thanks for posting this <3 along with the story.

10/24/2013 1:03am

Hi Lynnette, I hope this is the right one you are looking for. I have come to discover that there are many different recipes for green tomato relish that vary according to regions. This recipe that my great-grandma used is one of the simplest versions, but I do believe they should all have a similar taste since they all include sugar and vinegar. Good luck in the giveaway...I'll love to send you some so you could see if it is the same as your grandma's recipe :)

10/24/2013 1:17am

Sandra, I so enjoy your photos, recipes and for allowing me into this part of your lovely life. Congratulations!

10/24/2013 1:43am

Thanks Susan, and thank you for joining me on this journey! It is so nice connecting to people I would otherwise not get to meet outside of this space :)

10/24/2013 8:14pm

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have a ton of green tomatoes and this should do the trick. And I love the recipe card! I swear your grandmother and my mother have the same handwriting.

10/25/2013 11:43am

Thanks Mark...I hope you get to make some relish with all your tomatoes :)

Jane Staplin
10/25/2013 11:32am

This is awesome. I was looking for a tried and true recipe to use my green tomato harvest from last night. We had a frost warning. I have a recipe from my grandmother that uses red
tomatoes: Duxberry Sauce. It is a favorite of anyone I give a pint.

10/25/2013 11:51am

Hi Jane, we just had our first frost warning yesterday too. I pulled in all my remaining green tomatoes. Duxberry Sauce sounds interesting. Hope you get to make some relish this year :)

10/26/2013 1:14pm

I'm about to try this recipe

10/26/2013 10:29pm

Yay Cynthia....I hope you enjoy it :) It is really good in tuna fish salad :)

Robin Johnson
10/29/2013 3:42pm

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe. I lost my grandmothers a couple of years ago and have been searching for one that id similar to hers. I have finally found it and can't wait to make it after my grand babies have been picked up by their moms. I will continue to check your site for more wonderful ideas and recipes! Thanks!

10/29/2013 5:50pm

Hi Robin, I'm so glad you found my site. And, I hope you enjoy the relish :)

11/09/2013 11:28pm

I'm getting caught up with your site and just have to tell you how much I enjoyed this post! Your pictures and words are beautiful and I love that you included the well-loved handwritten recipe card. Congrats on 1 year and good luck in the next!
Also...103!? Very impressive.

11/10/2013 10:11pm

Thank so much Sarah. Isn't 103 crazy...I could only hope to live that long and see as much as she has :)

Paula R.
10/24/2014 9:51pm

I stumbled upon your blog..since I have an abundance of green tomatoes and must do something with them I was searching Pinter estate and spotted this one..I knew immediately this was the one..your Granny reminds me so much of my wonderful grandma that's been gone for several years now...I know it was as I'll be awesome..starting on mine in the morning! Thank you for sharing! God Bless your Granny!

10/26/2014 8:44pm

I also found your blog because of all my green tomatoes. I made a batch today & have already heard some pings as they seal. Thank you for sharing the original recipe card. I have several like it that mean so much. That is the reason I chose this recipe! Our grandmas are always the best cooks!


Congratulations on your first anniversary. It is glad to see you. I really like the images of green tomato.

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