Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Life Gives You Green Tomatoes...

...hide behind a tree and whip them at people waiting for the bus make green tomato relish.
I'm down to just what's left in this bowl, which I can finish off in a green tomato pie later in the week. Gosh, that was a lot of work. I made a batch of relish, a batch of tomato chutney, and some pickled sour tomatoes. Let's have a look, shall we? Fire-up the canner Mama, we're preserving tomatoes!

 Nice.
 Very Nice.
What the hell?!
Yeah, that's a regional thing with the bright green food colouring. Personally, I think it is silly, but there's an expectation that relish is really green if you're from Illinois, or parts of Wisconsin. I don't eat hot dogs, therefore I do not care about the hue of my relish. For the sake of the people these are being made for, I added the food colour as untinted relish would be (try not to laugh) unappetising.
Yeah, we're all going to die of some horrible food dye related cancer (if the nitrate-soaked meat doesn't get us first).
This is my new favourite outfit (click to embiggen the photo). I never thought I could love a 1970's Act III polyester blouse quite as much as I love this one. It is perfection. The sleeves stay pushed where you set them, the bow ties easily, and the buttons don't gape. Add a nice leaf print in a versatile shade of brown, and I'm in happy-vintage heaven. I may insist on being buried in this blouse, I love it that much. The skirt is a vintage Jantzen from the 70's, and it is exceptionally well made. The cotton does not wrinkle, the buttons stay closed, and it has a bit of elastic at the waist. I spend my day on my feet, and it is nice to have clothes that not only move, but move with me.
Blondin has been visiting regularly. There's a certain satisfaction seeing him tear into a piece of stale cake like it was some sort of delicacy. I mean, it was a good cake, and if you're a hungry squirrel, it still is. I've been watching him bury nuts and acorns in the yard. He's been nibbling on cake as he works-I swear he gets more human by the day. I fully expect to see him reclining in a chair drinking a cup of tea. The strong kind, that you can stand a spoon in.

I've been (not so subtly) reminded by the younger atheist that I need to bake honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. Sure, I'm all for preserving cultural traditions in the form of baked goods, but I do find it a little funny how seriously people take their holiday foods. I mean, I get it-honey cake is really delicious. So is apricot noodle pudding which will also make an appearance, along with challah, and rugelach. When that's all done, I can get started making the Christmas puddings! Yeah, we're all over the cultural landscape. I'm not making Christmas cakes this year as it is a ton of work making all that candied fruit from scratch, and the keeping them stored, coated in booze, etc. I know recipients of the five pound doorstops will miss it this year, but I'm not getting any younger and life is too short for spending weeks candying fruit.

Then, in a few weeks we'll have Barmbracks, toffee apples, molasses popcorn balls, parkin...

So what about you? Any seasonal baking going on at your place?
At least it is appreciated.

11 comments:

Curtise said...

Nope, not baking at all, not if I can help it. You make your own candied fruit? That's dedication for you - although not this year, obviously... I think you really have to love the process of baking to bother with making Christmas cake, and none of my family (myself included) is really that enamoured of the final result, so there isn't much point. A friend of mine is quite obsessional about making Christmas puddings every year, and was frankly appalled when I said I had ever, ever made one, and never, ever would when I can buy one more cheaply than it would cost to make! See? Not in love with the process, so I just don't care!
Good to see Blondin appreciating your efforts, and I like the thought of him enjoying his cake with a mug of builder's strength tea.
Cool outfit - add a stetson, and you're Annie Oakley! A baking, gun-slinging goddess, that's you! xxxx

Bibi said...

Honey cake!!! Please share the recipe when you make it.
Nepalis love their religious holidays.

Nepal has over 500 nationally recognized holidays - Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, Bon, Christian, Kirant, Yumaism, ancestor worship, animism, & a few Maoist festivals now to boot. The Chabad house used to hold the world's largest Passover Seder in Kathmandu's tourist district- I think they had a problem with the giant matzo shipment last year though.
Mind you some of these religious holidays & festivals go on for 2-3 weeks.
How such a poor country that depends so much on tourism thinks it can afford national 'bank' holidays of 7 days or more is beyond me.

Goody said...

@Curtise

Because of allergies (Most baked goods, and candied fruit are made on shared machinery with nuts)I've had to bake/make everything at home. My allergies were nothing that couldn't be solved with an antihistamine, but Danny's are serious, so I no longer take the risk. We don't eat prepared food, or take meals out (can't remember the last time I ate in a restaurant) which isn't really a big deal-unless it requires making pounds of candied fruit each autumn. So I'm taking a year off.

Goody said...

@Bibi

I have two recipes that are both quite good, but different. The first is more of a quickbread type thing with apples and dried fruit, the second, which is what I made yesterday is quite plain.
Since these posts were done years ago, I've gone to completely omitting nuts as I no longer bring them in the house due to the severity of Danny's allergies. That said, almonds scattered across the top is traditional, if you're not allergic.

http://eattheblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/honey-cake.html

http://eattheblog.blogspot.com/2006/09/once-year-at-rosh-hashanah-i-make.html

I don't know what honey prices are like in Nepal, but here it is rather expensive, so these are very much a "treat" we make once a year. Oh, and use instant coffee for the cake (really) it has a stronger flavor after baking.

Joanna said...

I've been baking with almond flour. Love the stuff. How nice is it to be able to eat as many chocolate chip cookies as you want and not gain 10 lbs? I'm impressed about the canning you do. The little squirrel with the nut is so cute.

Joanna said...

Are you allergic to almonds too?

Goody said...

@Joanna

I always got a mild reaction to almonds(barfing, etc.) but Danny's is serious (anaphylaxis) , so we just don't bring any sorts of nuts into the house. He's also allergic to peanuts as well as tree nuts, which is a drag. Cashews are my deadly nut-those things have put me in the emergency room.

Having grown up with a nut allergy (back in the 60's and 70's when no one supposedly had nut allergies-except me)I was prepared for Danny's issues. One advantage we have now is better labeling of products. I could have been spared several reactions had labeling laws been in place.

It isn't a huge deal-you just learn to be a better baker as bakeries are off limits.

yinzerella said...

No fried green tomatoes?!?!

Goody said...

@Yinz
I DID-but then I layered them into a lasagna like eggplant. The boys thought it was great.

Joanna said...

I'm sorry to hear about the depth of your allergies. This must be difficult for you but on the bright side it has forced you to be a great cook:)

yinzerella said...

Fried Green Tomato Lasagna?
Clever. Very clever.

And it sounds fab!