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.
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.
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
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.
* 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!)