Join Date: Oct 2004
Here is my recipe. It is very simple thogh explanation might be a bit long.
No canning required, but you will not be able to pickle them in the refrigerator. The pickling, that takes 2 to 3 weeks, has to be done at the room temperature. I recommend the kitchen, but as far away from stove as possible.
The recipe is very simple. I buy a box of tomatoes at the farmers market. It fills in the big pail that I have. I bought one in restaurant supply store, but you can use an enamel-plated pot. Or even a jar, if you make a little bit. As I make to last the whole winter I make 2 big pails, I think they are like 5 gallons or so.
Okay here is the recipe.
The recipe is for 5-gallon pail:
Tomatoes to fill pail almost to the top.
Dill one bunch, that is sold in the store or the farmers market is enough, if you like dill a lot, like I do, you can use 2 bunches.
Celery stalks 3, cut up in the 2-3 Inc pieces.
Hot pepper 3. I buy those long red or yellow ones; have no idea what they called.
Salt 4 tablespoons for every 3 litter/quarts of water
Bay leaves few
Allspice and Black peppercorn; each about a t-spoon. I just grab it with 3 fingers whatever comes out is good enough.
Now the hot pepper will make tomato spicy, my mom puts only one I like a little bit spicier so I use 3, but if you like spicy food, you can add more, and if do not like spicy food you can add less.
Wash the tomatoes, peppers and dill. Cut up dill, put some to cover the bottom of the pail.
Put tomatoes, pepper, celery, and garlic. Make sure that garlic cloves, peppers, celery and dill is evenly spread through out the pail. Leave some dill to have enough to cover tomatoes on the top. Dissolve pickling salt in a little bit of the hot water and add the rest of cold water to fill the proportion above. My pail I can fill with 9 quarts of water. Just enough to cover tomatoes. Add allspice and black peppercorn. Spread the rest of dill on the top.
Now you have to keep them (the tomatoes) down and covered. I spread the cheesecloth over it and put big diner plate on the top, and then I put weight on the top. There is no exact
Science on how much weight. You can start with 2-litter soda bottle, but then in the week or even sooner you should switch to something lighter, like a quart or so. If there is not enough weight it is not a big problem if there is too much, tomato will get smashed. There is a debate about tomatoes, red or green, I use both. When I make a lot and set aside for the winter, I just eat the red ones first and the green ones I live for the latter. This year I had one jar of green ones left in June they were still awesome. The harder the tomato the lower on the bottom it should go, and the softer - the higher, of course.
Now comes the part my wife hates. It stinks well I like the smell. It takes 2 to 3 weeks for the pickling process, fermenting, depends on the temperature in the kitchen, I do it in the kitchen. Tomatoes will get covered with something that looks like mildew, at this point you have to take plate and cloth of, rinse it and put it back. You should not allow mildew to build up and stay because tomatoes will taste like that mildew, yuck. In about two weeks you should taste them, and if they are ready (if they are not they will have some what weird and bitter taste, if yes it should remind you of dill pickles taste), slowly take them one by one, slowly rinse under cold water and put in the clean jar, then drain the pickling juice (for those who speak English that’s brine ;) ) through the clean cheesecloth right into the jar to cover tomatoes. Take some garlic cloves and if you like your tomatoes to be spicy add one pepper, make sure to rinse them too.
I keep my tomatoes in the refrigerator. If everything was clean they will stay clean the whole winter, if not they may have some mildew build up on the top. Then you should take out and clean it up. It is not a problem in the end.
The spices and the greens that I put into tomato are really not carved in the stone, or whatever the saying is. For example back in Ukraine we used to add things like horseradish leaves, leaves of the cherry tree and leaves of black currant. Last year I added green capers, but this year I did not have any. So, if you are going to do that more than ones you can experiment
You are what you eat.