If you live somewhere between zone 4 and zone 6, this would be the time you walk around your garden and acknowledge the fact that the bounty of green tomatoes still hanging from the vines will probably not have time to ripen before the first frost. Grab a bag and gather them all, they make wonderful pickles for the winter months.
Here is a quick recipe for pickled green tomatoes, the time it takes to prepare it is roughly how long it takes for the water to boil.
Pickled Green Tomatoes
You will need clean glass containers (you can be creative about what constitutes a proper pickle jar, please see picture). The only comment is to use sturdier containers because you will have to pour hot liquid in them.
However many green tomatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers you found in the garden: arrange artfully to fill the jars.
Carrots for decorating – slice lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices and cut them into interesting shapes.
Drop in the jars bay leaves, mixed peppercorns, mustard seed, dried dill, and garlic cloves. If you happen to have a sour cherry tree in your yard (which would be great because they are self pollinating and bear lots of fruit), cut a few tiny branches with leaves and use them to keep the tomatoes from popping up (sour cherry tree leaves prevent pickles from becoming mushy).
In a large pot bring two gallons of water, one pound of salt, and a pint of vinegar to a boil. Wrap the pickle jar in a thick wet towel and place it on top of two or three flatware handles. (the wet towel and the metal will help conduct the heat of the boiling liquid so that the glass doesn’t break). Pour the hot water, salt and vinegar mix over the pickles until they are fully covered. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel and cover with card stock rounds and cellophane. Keep in a warm place until the liquid turns clear (the fermenting process should take 4 to 6 weeks), and then store in a cool location to keep over winter.
If you are interested in home food preservation, please take a look at this website:
Besides information about how to pickle, dry, can or cure basically anything, you will find out the basics of food preserving, the hows and whys, and a lot of other interesting and useful advice.