Ripe Tomato Relish

Donna Brown


This is absolutely a "labor of love" and people really do appreciate it, especially after they taste it. I have made this for about 35 years having the recipe only in my head and just knowing when it was right. Last year my daughter asked me to please write it down and her mother-in-law wanted to know how to make it, so as I was making about my 20th batch (no kidding) last year I wrote it down step by step. It is wonderful on peas, white beans, pinto beans, burgers, etc. A friend of mine has a daughter that takes it out of the frig and eats it right out of the jar.

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tomatoes, peeled and chopped (i put them in a large colander and drain as i'm peeling, you'll want a complete colander full of chopped tomatoes) i usually use about a 5 gallon bucket full of tomatoes
lg. bell pepper, chopped fine in a blender
banana pepper, chopped fine in a blender
hot pepper, chopped fine in a blender
jalapeno pepper, chopped fine in a blender, be sure to remove seeds and inside membranes to keep from being too hot
onions, depending on size of onions, chopped fine in a blender
about a cup of white vinegar, depending on acidity of tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp
pickling spices, tied in cheesecloth or other clean white cloth
cinnamon stick

Directions Step-By-Step

I'll put peppers and onions in a blender about 1/2 full, then finish filling with water and put top on. Chop or grind until finely chopped. Drain in a colander. It'll take 3-4 times doing this until all onions and peppers are chopped. Put these ingredients in a large pot along with drained, chopped tomatoes. Add vinegar and about a cup of sugar (at first). Drop in cinnamon stick and pickling spices tied in clean white cloth. Add some more salt, sorry, I don't have an amount. At this point, it goes by taste. Bring all ingredients to a rolling boil, then drop heat down to a simmer. Taste it and you will probably have to add more sugar (maybe another 1/2 - 1 cup) and maybe a bit more salt. I usually cook about 45 minutes to an hour on a slow boil. If it doesn't cook down enough, sometimes I'll drain off some of the liquid into a colander and return relish to container. You'll want finished product kind of thick, not a lot of juice at all. When desired thickness is reached, remove cinnamon stick and spice cloth. While relish is cooking, wash and sterilize about 4-5 pint jars (or if you want to give for gifts, the smaller jelly jars). Ladel relish into hot jars and seal. Water bath about 5-10 minutes. No need to pressure these. **If I have it, sometimes I'll put about 1 cup of shredded cabbage into mixture before cooking. I'll save my husbands' older white handkerchiefs and cut them in 1/4 to tie pickling spices in, makes a perfect size, talk about frugal. NOTE: The easiest way to peel tomatoes for canning purposes is to wash them, cut an X on top (not stem side) and dunk in boiling hot water for a few seconds, remove from water and skin will peel off easily, make sure you remove core, too. (I'll save the juice I drained from the tomatoes to can later, just be sure to strain well to remove seeds.)

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Spreads
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Healthy