One of my strongest childhood memories was watching my grandmothers in the kitchen preparing meals for our large family gatherings on Sunday afternoons. Both my grandmother and my great-grandmother were influential figures in my life and instilled a quiet passion in me for bringing your heart and soul to the table. They would create memorable and delicious dishes that would cause us to want to sit at the dinner table for hours, not just minutes, and share together. They were wonderful and patient teachers and, like a sponge, I would absorb their body language, their knife skills, and their innate sense of creating something out of nothing as I worked alongside them. They were frugal, but they would never let us know it, as we sat down to a meal fit for kings.
When my great grandmother died, I inherited a few of her cookbooks. They have her notes in them from World War I, when she was a cook for the soldiers. They hold a place of honor on my bookshelf. It helps me to remember what an important role food has to play both in life and in death. I thumb through the fragile pages from time to time, half expecting to hear grandma’s voice whisper a secret direction to me.
This is among one of my grandmother’s signature recipes–a relish made with green tomatoes. We put our gardens to bed this past weekend and pulled up our tomatoes–now it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane.
CHANGE SERVING SIZEpints
- 12 tomato(es) green
- 3 bell pepper(s) green
- 3 bell pepper(s) red
- 5 onion(s) large
- 1 jar French's mustard small
- 4 cups sugar scant
- 1 cup flour scant
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon tumeric
- 2 tablespoons celery seed
- 3 cups vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Grind and drain for 1 hr. the first 4 ingredients (green tomatoes, green and red peppers and onions).
- Mix the remaining ingredients together and add the vegetables.
- Cook until it boils and thickens, stirring constantly.
- Pack in sterilized hot jars.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
Hi, i made this last year and it was amazingly yummy.
I am going to make again this year (hopefully), if the blight doesn’t get all the tomatoes. Could it be made with zucchini or cucumbers?
Hi Tara – checking on that and will let you know asap!
Hi Tara – after a quick conference with one of the gourmet nuns who is currently in Italy (!), she says: “I’ve never made this recipe with cucumbers or zucchini – there is more water content in these vegetables than tomatoes and you won’t have the same acidity that you would with the tomatoes but it might be worth a try!!” Thanks again for your comments, and good luck!
I have a zucchini relish recipe that has a mustard sauce. I like it as it also doesn’t need canning. But yours with tomato is so much nicer. I can send you the recipe if you wish.
Since I have an overwhelming glut of
zucchini I tried this with shredded zuch.
I used part pickling vinegar for increased acidity. Took more cooking to thicken up, a lot more time, however while I definitely like tomatoes better, zucchini was OK in a pinch. Tara
That’s great to hear Tara! The mustard relish is wonderful on hot dogs – a favorite at the convent!
I am planning to make the relish. Do you use white or brown sugar? Do you use white or cider vinegar?
I use cider vinegar, but I think the others would be fine. Cider vinegar has a hint of sweetness that the others don’t have.
HI, This looks like a wonderful recipe. I’d love to try it. What size jar is that mustard, how many grams or ounces? And what colour vinegar, apple, brown, white? Thanks.
A pint size jar will do fine – Cider vinegar works best! Thank you for trying this!