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variety of fresh vegetables in a violet container

Do you know the temperature last year at this time?

It was in the plus 30’s, I kid you NOT.

But last night, we got down to -5 and a fierce frost that killed everything in the garden that was above ground. I was scraping my windshield this morning.

I was mourning my sunflowers that are toast. My beans, wilted and gone. Tomatoes kaput. Zucchini, don’t make me laugh.

The kids and I rescued the remainder of the vegetables that were hanging around, excepting potatoes and parsnips, which, to my delight, are seriously as leafy green and lovely on top as ever.

What a weird veggie. They look as crisp and fresh as they were mid-summer.

Soon enough, they are going to have to come up as well, another good frost and they should be as sweet as they are gonna get.

It was not a great growing year, my pumpkins are puny compared to the jacko-latern size we achieved last year, tomatoes were green except for my lemon boys and a few red early girls but thankfully zucchini were the usual reliable weeds that they really are.

They are really just a weed disguised as a squash, you know.

I have a recipe for real Cape Breton green tomato chow, courtesy of my friend Charlynn, which I am in the process of making, and will post the recipe soon.

I am thinking there are a lot of you out there with more green tomatoes than you know what to do with.

Any other recipes for green tomatoes that you know of? What’s everyone doing with theirs?

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. ruby says

    Thanks to Katy M and The Kitchen Magpie for the chutney recipe. We made a Girls’ Night of making this, and I can only hope we do your recipe justice. We’ll open the jars when the snow is falling and the wind is howling, and think of summer fondly. Thanks, again.

  2. Kevin says

    It does. Frost is one thing at this time of year – but back to back solid freezes at night? I had hoped our wet growing season would end in a flourish of lovely Sept heat. No such luck.

  3. Katy M says

    Here’s the chutney recipe. It’s really easy, really good, and although you can heat process it if you prefer, my mum and I always just pour it into sterilized jars, cover with plastic wrap, then put the lid on. I’ve never had a jar go bad (it’s pretty acidic, which helps it keep), and I’ve eaten some that was as many as 3 years old. It gets even better with age!

    Green Tomato Chutney

    2lb green tomatoes, sliced
    1c white vinegar
    1/4 lb raisins
    3/4 lb Demerara sugar
    1 bruised stick ginger
    3/4lb apples pared, cored & chopped
    4 red chilies
    1/2lb Spanish onions, sliced
    1T salt

    Put all together, simmer on very low heat till thick as jam (3 -4 hours). Pour into clean jars, cover (plastic lids are best – no need to process) and try to keep at least 6 weeks before eating!

    This stuff keeps really well for at least a couple of years if you can ever get that far ahead!

  4. ruby says

    It is so sad. I’m taking a break from cleaning my dead flower pots to whip up something for a zucchini lunch. I have dozens of pathetic sunflowers in the garden that are are just a cruel reminder that it’s over… give it up. Anyway, that’s how i ended up on this site… i have so many zucs and i am trying to come up with different ways of using them. I’ve already frozen many little baggies of swiss chard for winter soups. Would love to know Katy M’s green tomato chutney recipe. I have many green ones left over i need to do something with.

  5. Katy M says

    It definitely was a terrible year. The only thing that really flourished in my garden was swiss chard, which we’ve been eating by the pound.

    I make my mother’s recipe for green tomato chutney when I’m lucky enough to have plenty of green tomatoes. It’s the best chutney I’ve ever eaten,, so there is at least a silver lining to the awful growing season we had.

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