Bad tomatoes, perfect pickles
Bad tomatoes, perfect pickles. What a disaster!
Tomatoes this year have been a complete washout and I am so cross about it. I just threw out three plants that have so few fruits on them it is little point keeping them going. At this time of the year (mid August) I always reduce the leaf area, to allow the remaining tomatoes to start to ripen without the extra humidity of the leaves.
Granted, it has been dull and cold for most of the summer. The only benefit to the greenhouse has been the water butt, which is always full to over flowing. Every year I have grown ‘Alicante’ and ‘Moneymaker’. My father and his before him did the same, and I suppose they’re in our blood. They are typical British tomatoes and have pretty much never let me down.
However, this year I grew ‘Garten Pearl’ which is from Germany and I would have thought the temperature would have suited it – alas! The other was ‘Amish Paste’ which is an American tomato, and was a complete waste of time. Probably much too cool for it.
On the contrary, and I am scratching my head about it, the peppers have done fine.
The sweet cayenne peppers are amazing and I can’t wait to collect and pickle them.
I think the pickle I will use is going to be 500 ml vinegar, a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, a half teaspoon allspice, and some thinly sliced onions.
The peppers will be topped and tailed and then all the ingredients brought together to a boil.
The jars should be sterile and then stuffed with peppers, and the pickle poured on top.
The lid is put on and then everything goes into a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Then it’s like everything else, patience. You can’t rush in and devour the peppers straight away – a month later and you can stuff yourself with them!