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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Green Tomato Mincemeat

Before I post this, I wanted to say that an angel came to our rescue! Dad, knowing we were financial trouble, helped us out of our mess. We have always been financially prudent but the lemon of a car we had depleted our savings and the new one was an adjustment, plus the huge insurance bill and some bad choices we have made. Sigh. I think we have learned our lesson and will be more careful with our money. I just need to get Mark on board with budgeting!

I am restarting my nest egg for a side of beef and am comitting to not shopping at grocery stores, unless I am using gift cards or it is an item that is cheaper anywhere else. I had a couple proud moments this week when I put back the 1kg tubs of candy which, while they were only $2.44, we certainly did not need them! I also put back some fruit cups that were made in CHINA! Ugh! I had already bought some so we'll keep them, but why buy fruit from China when we can pick our own?

Speaking of fruit, the green tomato mincemeat is divine! I canned some a couple of years ago but I decided this year I would just freeze it. I am still wary of canning after some lid incidents that made my canned goods go bad. I semi followed a recipe from southernfood.about.com, so I will post what I used as a base and add my additions.

Old fashioned green tomato mincemeat recipe.
Ingredients:
3 quarts chopped green tomatoes
1 1/2 quarts peeled, chopped tart apples
2 cups raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup diced candied citron, lemon or orange peel
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup Vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a large heavy pan.
(Omit cloves if you plan to freeze mincemeat.)
Cook mixture slowly until it is tender and thick,
about 1 hour or more. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
To can, pour boiling mixture into hot, sterile jars,
leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal promptly.
Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Store in a cool dry place.
To freeze, pack cold mincemeat into freezer jars or containers,
leaving about an inch headspace for expansion.
Seal and freeze promptly.
Makes about 5 to 6 quarts of green tomato mincemeat.
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So obviously I didn't can it. I also added tons of chopped apples,
probably at least twice as much as it called for,
and I didn't measure the tomatoes, but I used about 5lbs.
I mixed the ingredients in a huge bowl and had to divide
it between my two big pots to cook. I also didn't have
currants or allspice (but I added some mace; I was a
little heavy handed with the spices) and I used candied fruit.
I think it's very versatile, especially if you are freezing it.
I like that it doesn't freeze solid so you can use it right out of the freezer.
I plan to make more as I am sure we are going to be
using to use lots of it! Ps: I was having trouble formatting,
sorry this looks weird!

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