Thursday, October 9, 2008

Using up green tomatoes

One of our thrifty and green activities this week was to use up our green tomatoes. We had a hard freeze at our house so the time of covering crops up while we have a frost has come and gone. We had to pick everything we wanted to save. One thing we don't do when a freeze comes is to leave all of our green tomatoes out there, thinking that we can't use them. We can use them and we do! Here is how we like to use them:

Nice green tomatoes we place in boxes with layers of newspaper under them and we set them in a cool dark place (under our bed) to ripen. We check on them often to get out any red ones and any that have started to go bad. Last year we were able to eat red ripe tomatoes clear into December using this method. These tomatoes don't taste as good as the ones right out of your garden but they are quite equal with the ones you buy at the store.

Another thing my Mom and I like to do with them is make Mince pie filling. Yesterday the kids and I went over to their house and we had fun doing that. Above is some of our finished product, canned and ready to use throughout the year. Mince pie filling is something I really like but not everybody does. It seems like most people have either, 1. Never heard of it, 2. Love it, or 3. Hate it. There are some people that don't really care but for the most part it seems to be divided in the above groups.

Here is the recipe for it in case you think you would like to try it:

Mince Pie Filling
(Also known as Mince Meat but we don't include meat.)
10 cups chopped green tomatoes.
10 cups chopped apples (we leave the skins on but core them.)
3 cups lard
3 lbs. raisins
9 1/2 cups sugar
7 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons each of: allspice, cloves and salt.

Mix everything together in a large pot and cook until soft. (This smells really good while cooking!) Then put in jars and can using a water bath or you can freeze it. When you want to use it place it in a pie crust and top it with another one and bake like you would an apple pie. (You may want to add a little flour to the filling to thicken it.) There are also other recipes like bars or cookies that you can use mincemeat in. I saw mince pie filling for sale at the grocery store for $7 a quart. When you make it at home it is way cheaper!

Another use that I know of for using green tomatoes is making a mock apples pie with them. Do you use green tomatoes? What do you do with them?
For more Thrifty Green Thursdays visit Green Baby Guide.


Cathy said...

We've got a ton of green tomatoes--we'll try to ripen them in our basement--thanks!!

Rebecca said...

I didn't plant a garden this year, but in the past I've let the tomatoes ripen on a table or something and, like you, have been able to eat them until December! The mincemeat pie filling is interesting. Could you mix green tomatoes with apples and make it into a kind of applesauce? (Sort of like the recipe you posted, except no lard?)

Thanks for another great Thrifty Green Thursday post!

Joy said...

Your tomato crop looks quite impressive! The thought of being able to eat homegrown tomatoes through December makes me green with envy. (pun intended). Our tomatoes produced a puny crop, most of which my son drained of their juices like a tiny tomato vampire whenever we were in the garden. Maybe next year we'll be more successful! Thanks for joining TGT this week!

FromThe Creek said...

I just made green tomato relish today and noticed that a few at the bottom of the box had ripened! BTW the green tomato relish is pretty good...not much different than the pickle relish.

Anonymous said...

Ok, my Father in Law says I must make some of the mince pie filling. It's his favorite.

Guess I know what we're doing with the rest of the green tomatoes.

We also made a Green Tomato Cake a few days ago. It was GOOD! GO to and search for Green Tomato Cake.

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment!
Rebecca, I think you could leave out the lard and have a yummy tasting sauce to eat. We enjoy eating spoonfuls of it while it is cooking! :-)


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