I grew up in a family that could kill a cow three times. Hell, they could kill a vegetable.
How you ask? Well, the cow went down to be even considered for a meal. Then my parents would cook it to the point of being shriveled leather. And then I’d have to douse it with massive amounts of some condiment before it tasted remotely edible.
I stopped eating red meat when I went to college based on my trauma with how poorly red meat was cooked in my youth. I only came back to it when I was pregnant with our daughter. Only then did I learn to cook a piece of steak on the grill to culinary perfection.
If meat could be so brutalized in my childhood home, only imagine how poorly the veggies were treated.
Both my parents worked long days at corporate jobs. I’ve never faulted them for making me a latchkey kid, but that meant that grocery shopping was a thing of convenience – and meals needed to be quickly made when my parents came home – usually around 7pm, to cook dinner.
Most of our veggies were of the frozen variety, and they were cooked nothing sort of mush.
I think this is why I taught myself to cook…somehow my parents didn’t kill a love of food for me; it was simply motivation to learn to make food good. Not mush.
I tell you all this simply because when I became a part of my husband’s family, I came into certain culinary delights I’d never really known.
I dunno, like fresh veggies and decently cooked food.
Even though one of my husband’s grandmothers thought I was the bitch who was corrupting her precious golden grandson – you cannot make this shit up – she showed me how to can fresh fruits and veggies at their peak ripeness to enjoy year round.
I stuck around – oh, close to 30 years now – and she often showed how much she thought of me. Let’s just say she was a master of the backhanded slap. I was reminded of this, even at her funeral. She taught her own daughter well.
While this recipe came from the other side of my husband’s family, I am forever grateful to my husband’s other grandmother for showing me the art and joy of canning. Even if she was a decent bane of my existence at times.
If you can this, and I highly recommend you do, then just follow normal canning procedures, and save yourself by doing the baking method, as discussed in Farm Fresh Strawberry Jam.
This family recipe comes from my husband’s Great Aunt Arlene, and the copy of the recipe notes Ruth Brown – 70’s and Ginny Hough – 8/99 at the top. I am somehow presuming this delightful comes from them, and those are their departure dates from this blessed Earth.
They will forever live in my hearts for this recipe, even though I haven’t a clue who they are.
It seems like tomatoes didn’t want to come to the party this summer, and then whammo! They decided to show up in droves at the end of the summer.
We recently had an extended family BBQ, and one of my husband’s cousins said they’d just throw an excessive amount of tomatoes to their pigs. I glared at him. I almost yelled at him.
Dammit, Ash, those could’ve been cases of our recently dearly departed Aunt Arlene’s Tomato Flip. He kinda rolled his eyes in the back of his head and said, “Mmmmmm. I love that stuff.” Yeah, Ash, me, too. Damn you for hucking your maters to the pigs.
DO NOT throw out those soft, squishy maters that may be clinging to their final thread of life on the vine. This is an old family recipe that I lovingly share with you ’cause I’m just friggin’ nice. You’re welcome.
- 7-8 lbs tomato ripe, peeled & cut into chunks. Weigh after chopped up.
- 1 pt apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in spice bag to float.
Boil chopped tomatoes for 10 minutes.
Drain fairly well in a strainer or sieve, but DO NOT force through strainer/sieve.
Add pulp back into pan, and add all other ingredients.
Lightly boil for about 1 hour until slightly thick. This may take up to 1 1/2 hours. Stir frequently, especially towards end of boiling time to prevent sticking.
If you plan to can this, which you should - cause it's like one of those summer things that you can enjoy the freshness of ripe tomatoes in the dead of winter things - then go about the canning process with 4 oz (or larger) jars. I say 4 oz because you will want to give this away and enjoy the moment
This is stupidly insane on crackers with soft cheese. I'm sure it'd be lovely on some meat as a condiment, but we've never gotten past how ah-mazing it is on crackers with any kind of cheese. Let me know if you use this on meat of some kind. I'll whole-heartedly agree with you that this is stupid amazing on it.
I've rated this recipe myself. Why? Because there is not one single person who's tried this who hasn't rolled their eyes in the back of their head and just sighed "yuuummmmm." Even tomato haters love this.
You know what? Sugar and spice really do make everything nice.