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My girlfriend's MIL fashioned this recipe many years ago and it is wonderful! Easy to make, and so good with so many things. Note: The easiest way I have found to sterilize jars is to wash and rinse them well, fill them with boiling water for a few minutes, empty, and keep them hot in a 200°F oven till you are ready to fill them. The flat sealing lids should be boiled for about five minutes, and the rings should be twisted only finger tight. Enjoy these pickles - beats anything you can buy ready-made. They keep for a very long time, which is a bonus.
- 18 -20 tomatoes, ripe (or 5 28-fluid oz. cans, diced)
- 1⁄2 head celery, fine dice
- 6 large sweet peppers, fine dice (red or green or orange)
- 4 large onions, fine dice
- 3⁄4 cup white sugar (more, if necessary)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 cups vinegar (preferably pickling vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons pickling spices (tied in cheesecloth)
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot (preferably non-stick) and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until desired consistency is reached.
- Stir very often to prevent burning.
- Pack into sterilized jars and seal.
This is almost exactly what my grandmother used to make! She used half brown sugar and half white. When I make this now, I cook in a slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours with a liner (yeah, I'm lazy). I occasionally use 1 t. of turmeric, for better color. It really rocks with fresh heirloom tomatoes, but is great with canned. I use it on everything from eggs, to beans and peas, to hotdogs. I recently served a TBS on top of shrimp and grits, and got raves. Wonderful! No matter how much you make, it will never be enough. I usually make at least twice a year when tomatoes are plentiful.