Local, fresh and firm green tomatoes made it into my kitchen this past weekend. I (Litsa) had accepted the tomatoes and a set of ‘loaner’ ball jars to create my first batch of Spicy Green Tomatoes. The process was much easier than creating homemade salsa.
I prepped my jars accordingly for canning. As my jars were boiling and my lids were heating up, I started a bath for the jars too. My fresh, green tomatoes covered my countertops so I searched them out for any spots. They were the perfect batch so I washed them immediately and removed any green stems. Next, I quartered the tomatoes. Larger tomatoes were sliced in sixths so that they were about the same size as quartered tomatoes.
Once my jars were almost ready, I started a boil of vinegar and Mrs. Wages pickling spice. I forgot (or failed) to read the CAUTION label on the spices’s package but immediately discovered that I needed to protect my face and turn on the exhaust fan—(and open windows/doors). Once I was ready to ‘face’ the spicy steam vapors, I filled the hot jars with green quartered tomatoes and poured the hot, spicy vinegar mix over them. I sealed the jars with steamed seals and lids. I boiled the jars in a hot bath for 10 minutes. Then, I removed the hot jars and waited for them to cool before checking to make sure all of my jars were ready for the shelf.
The task of canning green tomatoes was in fact EASY on a canning scale (if there is one). For novice canners, I was able to complete this task in one hour’s time. I considered the canning & preserving tips that I shared with you. I did have a few extra tomatoes leftover but since they were given too me (as was the Mrs. Wages spice mix), I had to opt to bag them for a future cooking project in the kitchen. I couldn’t use them for canning additional jars of spicy green tomatoes. However, I discovered later that my jars were full of liquid at the bottom (and that my spicy canned green tomatoes were floating at the top). Some jars were fuller than others. Thus, if I had ‘stuffed’ more tomatoes into the jars, I would not have had vacant areas in my canning jars. I would also have used all of the tomatoes that I had quartered.
Sometimes with canning, trail and error is your learning curve. However, having an extra hand in the kitchen when canning would help the process too. I’ll definitely accept surplus of green tomatoes and okra next season so that I can perfect canning spicy green tomatoes (and okra which uses this same method/spice).
Spicy Green Tomatoes are the perfect canned variety to add to a bean dish throughout the fall/winter months. It’s a great side dish/salad to a crockpot dinner/lunch. It might even serve as the perfect afternoon snack when you need just a few bites at your desk.
Do you enjoy spicy pickled tomatoes?