I would never describe myself as being particularly green fingered or good in the garden. It's one of those things that I love the idea of - having my own country garden, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and flowers, all ready for picking. Reality is I like to enjoy it from a distance and get somebody else to do all the work!
I do however love growing tomatoes from seed, they're easy to do and I love watching them turn from these uninspiring looking pips into these spindly little shoots, all the way to climbing vines with big, ripe tomatoes hanging from them.
At least that's the intention. This year I wasn't quite so lucky...
Things haven't gone according to plan - despite a gorgeous summer which has seen a bumper crop of tomatoes, only a few of them have done the decent thing and turned red. Leaving me with five pounds of green tomatoes! Five pounds!
I was rather disappointed, especially having risked life and limb, aka the frog that took up residence by my grow bags. I had a rather traumatic experience with one as a child while picking strawberries and have never liked them since!
So anyway, tomatoes picked, we had to decide what to do with them and I've been finding some really unusual recipes for Mum and I to try. These are the ones we've enjoyed so far...
Green Tomato and Ginger Jam - yes it's sweet, yummy and you can have it on toast! It's best not to think about what's in it and just try it. You'll be surprised. I think it's like gooseberry jam with a yummy hint of ginger. My favourite of all the recipes we tried.
Beef and Green Tomato Casserole - we didn't have the energy to do the dumplings, so had packet ones; but it was really good and easy left in the slow cooker.
Spaghetti With Green Tomato-Bacon Sauce - I think this was my favourite savoury recipe and Mum's frozen a pot for another time.
Green Tomato Mincemeat - I'm saving this for a few sneaky mince pies, I'm not going to tell people what's in them until after they've tried them. It's a bit sharp, so if you do try it, I'd say leave out some of the cider vinegar.
Next we're going to have a go at Jamie Oliver's Special Tomato Ketchup Recipe. I'll let you know how we get on...
What do you do when you have lots of green tomatoes? Any recipes you can share with me as I still have a couple of pounds left!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and co-founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
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