You get creative!
I have been very lucky this past summer to have been able to take a little vacation during June, lasting into the first week of July. Needless to say, the garden just had to wait.
Our starter tomato plants were well cared for by our house sitter, but they didn't get out into the garden until very late. Luckily we had a long long summer and I was starting to get ripe tomatoes on the vine for a month before first frost.
When I picked all the green tomatoes, there were four big boxes of potential goodness from just four little plants!
3 pounds onions, chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons mixed pickling spices, in a tea egg or cheesecloth bag
3 Tbsp dried jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp dried Thai peppers
3 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup honey
1/4 cup pickling salt *to taste
To make this fabulous condiment, place everything but the honey and salt in a large stock pot and bring carefully to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for three hours. Remove the spice bag!
Using an immersion blender, blend the veggies until rather smooth. If you care to remove the seeds, you can put them through a food mill or sieve. It makes a smoother end product but doesn't effect the flavour.
Put the ketchup back into the large pot, bring to a slow boil and add honey and salt to taste. Simmer until it is thickened.
Meanwhile, prep your jars and lids for canning in a hot water bath. You will need enough jars for about 8 cups of finished product.
Carefully fill sterilized jars to 1/2 inch from top, wipe the rims and cap with sterilized lid & ring. Place back into the water bath, making sure the water is 2" above the jars. Cover and bring to boil. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from water bath and let them sit until cool before labelling and storing in a cool, dark place. If any of the jars have not sealed, put them in the fridge and use within 3 months.