My husband was brought up in Sydney and chokos hold a special place in his childhood memory – not a good one. Back then choko vines grew in many Sydney and Queensland backyards. My husband’s Irish grandmother, who had emigrated to Australia with her family in 1901 and settled in Queensland, loved them and used to send him around the neighbourhood collecting them. She would boil them and serve them with a white sauce. He said they were totally tasteless and hated them. I don’t know if she used them to make chutney, but this recipe might have made them taste a bit better.
This is another version of Tomato Relish, unlike the other one I posted last year, this one has apples and sultanas added into the mix. It’s still a two day job though, as you need to let the tomatoes and onions sit overnight with the salt on them, before adding the other ingredients and cooking until thick the next day.
While rhubarb is not popular in my household it was in Mum’s. She made a lot of relishes and chutneys with the produce from Dad’s garden, although I’m not sure she made this one. Personally I think making relishes and chutneys is much easier than jams as they don’t need to set. As long as you cook them until they’re thick they work really well.
One of the joys of summer when I was growing up was the crop of tomatoes that Dad grew in the backyard. I’m sure today’s tomatoes don’t taste as good. My Uncle Alf had a much larger veggie patch with a lot more tomato plants and vegetables growing. As a result my Auntie Elsie made tomato chutney, pickles and relish in abundance each year. This is one of her recipes, written out by Mum on a piece of the now defunct Ansett Airlines notepaper.
- 1.5kg ripe tomatoes
- 500g onions
- 500g sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1½ tablespoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons flour
- brown vinegar
Peel and slice the onions, cut and slice peeled tomatoes and put all into a basin. Sprinkle with salt. Allow to remain overnight. Next day put into preserving pan with just sufficient vinegar to cover, add sugar. Boil gently for 1 hour. Moisten dry ingredients with a little cold water and vinegar and stir them into mixture. Boil together for another hour or until a nice consistency.
At the end of each summer there were always tomatoes left on the plants in Dad’s vegie patch that weren’t going to ripen once the warm sunny days had gone. Rather than waste them Mum would use them to make Green Tomato Pickle. Throughout the year she made a variety of jams and pickles using whatever produce came to hand and that meant we always had a supply of homemade jams, marmalades, chutneys and pickles in the cupboard to spread on toast and sandwiches.
GREEN TOMATO PICKLE
- 3 kg green tomatoes
- 1 kg onions
- 500g beans
- 500g sugar
- 5 cups brown vinegar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 dessertspoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole spice & cloves (in bag)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
Chop tomatoes, onions and beans. Put in large pot with vinegar and spices. Bring to the boil. Stir in flour blended with a little water to thicken mixture. Boil for ½ hour. Pour into sterilized jars.