Too Many Tomatoes


With all the heat this summer, I have had a bumper crop of tomatoes.

Even though I give some away, I still have plenty to feed us. We have had BLT’s, grilled feta and tomato sandwiches, tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and fresh parsley, on top of  homemade pizza and chopped or sliced in every imaginable casserole and salad. This year I grew Sun Sugar and Chocolate Cherry, Patio and Celebrity. I grew them all in big pots on the patio, along with leeks, cilantro, parsley, basil and bell peppers.

I have been handed down a recipe for Chili Sauce from my Maternal Great-Great Grandmother. I am 50, my Mom is 83 and this was HER Great Grandma. This recipe goes pretty far back. I am guessing late 1800’s. I love the simplicity of it; no exact measurements really,  just estimations 🙂

That doesn’t matter though, you really cannot mess up this recipe. The end result fills the house with a heavenly aroma thanks to the spices.

Here is the recipe, as handed down:

24 tomatoes, chopped

7 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 cups sugar

1 cup vinegar

1 tsp. each salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves

Cook covered for one hour. Uncover and cook for 3 hours.

Pretty simple. With a few exceptions. What size tomatoes and onions? Does she mean bell peppers?

I have always used an assortment of large (Celebrity or Big Boy) and smaller (Roma or Patio) tomatoes. You can even throw in a handful of cherry type.

I assume she means yellow or white onions which are smaller. I don’t think big sweet Vidalias  were probably available back then.

I am certain she meant green “Bell” peppers. I don’t think they cooked with jalapeno or other hot peppers back in the day. And I don’t think they let green Bell peppers ripen to yellow, orange and red to make sure they had more antioxidants 🙂

I follow the recipe just as written. This time I made 1/2 batch.

I washed the tomatoes and peppers, chopped them along with the onions and put them all in a big pot with the remaining ingredients.

Do not worry if the pot is full; it really cooks down:

Maybe you are saying, “Well what do you do with Chili Sauce?”. Today I am adding some to homemade baked beans to take to a cookout tonight.

It is also wonderful on top of meatloaf, burgers, hot dogs or scrambled eggs. You can use it in place of any recipe that calls for jarred chili sauce.

Just spoon it into clean containers, cover and use in a few days. Or  freeze it for later use.

I had some cherry tomatoes left over so I roasted them with olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper.

I will add these to pasta later this week for a simple meal without much fuss. Just add some Parmesan and olives and serve with a salad and crusty bread.

Hope you are all enjoying natures bounty this summer 🙂


4 responses »

  1. I’m jealous of your canisters. I am currently working on collecting the yellow version, but I’m having trouble tracking down the flour and coffee.

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