August 16, 2010

August Can Jam..... Dilly Tomatoes!

This recipe is one of my mom's doings when I was a kid, mom pickled almost anything, or so it seemed! :) One year she canned some of the cherry tomatoes, which ended up being a hit in our house! I always thought the tomato pickles and dilly beans and odds and ends of vegetable pickles were all her idea. Surprise... now years later, I'm finding recipes of some of these things in books!! It still could be that she made them with her own inspiration, who knows? But, one thing is for sure, the smell of vinegar throughout the house will always bring back fond childhood memories!

As much as I wanted to make tomato sauce, the Can Jam deadline is fast approaching and no matter how much I go out and encourage these plants to turn their fruits red, they are holding on tight to their own time table, so.... I have to settle second best. Not to worry.... I will make tomato sauce and can some stewed tomatoes IN SEPTEMBER!  :) 
Dilled Tomatoes

Green tomatoes (cherry or grape works best)
Grape leaves (1 per jar)
Head of Dill   (1 per jar) **or 2 tsp. dill seeds**
garlic clove   (OPTIONAL: 1 per jar)
1/2 tsp. of alum per pint  (1 tsp. per quart)

(Enough for 7 Quarts)
10 Cups water
5 Cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 Cup canning salt

Wash the tomatoes, dill & grape leaves then put 1 leaf & the dill head and/or feathery leaves
in the bottom of your jars. Add the garlic if you want it... I've done some with and some without!
Now, fill the jars with the tomatoes up to the neck and add the alum. Pour the HOT brine over the top covering the tomatoes but leaving head space in the jars. Remove air bubbles. Cover with jars with lids and water bath for 15 minutes.

I noticed that some of my garlic turned a funny, blue-green color. My first impression was that it is a similar color to a penny when it turns color. Kinda odd... so, I did a little bit of research and this is what I discovered  towards the bottom of the page in the comment section...  "Garlic will react with a small amount of copper and turn colour, but still safe to eat. Trace amount of copper in your water supply or from utensils is sufficient to cause this colour change."

I do not remember any of the garlic in my mom's pickles turning a funny color... my brother, cousins and I ALWAYS would argue over whose turn it was to eat the garlics!! I know I would have remembered it if was a weird color! I also know that she & I have the same 'Revere Ware' pots & pans that we both have used for years, and I use wooden spoons to stir with. SO, still not sure, unless it is a trace mineral in my water supply. This is one of life's mysteries that I may never have an answer for.... I think I can live with that!

Until next time, Happy & Safe Canning!

I made these the first week of August, before we went on vacation so that I could post this as soon as we got back and NOT miss the deadline! We got back tonight... and now I have some red tomatoes!! I am sooo excited to get started on sauce... it may still be a couple of weeks until I have enough red ones to can, but I can see the promise of it happening!!


regina said...

are the grape leaves necessary? I have a ton of green tomatoes but no grape leaves......

Melanie said...

No, the grapeleaves are NOT necessary. Make sure to add 1 tsp. of alum to quart jars & 1/2 tsp. to pints! The grapeleaf is an 'old fashioned' way to help with crispness to the pickles that's all! :) Enjoy the canning! Sorry I'm reposting late... I just saw the comment that you left!