Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harvesting and Preserving: Green Tomato Mincemeat

This post is part of the Canadian Food Experience project (also on Facebook) proposed by my friend Valerie Lugonja, who is a board member of Slow Food Edmonton. The project began June 7th, 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us. 

My October was bananas, thanks to municipal election madness over at the Local Good's blog, so this month you'll get a two-fer: my preserving post and my harvest post, all in one. A childhood harvest memory that I cherish, and hope to recreate next year here in Edmonton, is having such a bounty of tomatoes from my mother's garden that we couldn't possibly eat them all. Usually, Mom planted three different varieties: a cherry tomato for salads, a plum tomato, and one other. I remember the flavours but not the names - I'll have to ask her which cultivars they were (update: Mom says she planted the Beefeater and Scotia cultivars). There would be big brown paper bags of them lined up on the windowsill over the sink, to induce them to ripen, but inevitably we'd need to use them up before they all had a chance to get red. So, it was always my maternal grandmother's Green Tomato Mincemeat recipe to the rescue. It makes a wonderful pie filling, and since there is no actual meat in it, it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Photo via Rhubarb & Honey who shares a very similar recipe!
Pearl's Green Tomato Mincemeat

3 pounds (10 cups) green tomatoes
3.5 pounds apples (Gravenstein apples would have been used)
2 cups brown sugar
1 pound seeded raisins
1 pound seedless raisins
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup apple juice
2.5 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 lemons, grated and juiced

Cut tomatoes in quarters and blend; drain.
Add chopped apples (not peeled!) and other ingredients except lemon juice.
Cook slowly 2-3 hours adding apple juice as required.
Add lemon juice just before bottling.
Can be frozen or canned.

(Sorry, no photo - I haven't had a chance to make this yet! I'll edit this post to add photos as soon as I can, but I wanted to share the recipe right away.)

PS: Oooh, look, Valerie posted her green tomato mincemeat recipe too, with the most mouthwatering photos. Her proportions and spices (candied ginger!) are a bit different from my Nana's, be sure to compare them!

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