September 26, 2008: The Garden That Keeps on Ticking

We had a frost warning last week, so I picked all the tomatoes that were showing any color. I gave a big bag of them to a son, and put the rest of them on the windowsill, in baskets and bowls, wherever I could find room. Today I am faced with having to do something with them, as they have all ripened at once. It looks as though I have just the perfect amount to make a batch of chili sauce, so I picked a few peppers to go with them. I haven't tried this recipe, but I have all the ingredients it calls for, so it's the one I'm going to use.  *Note:  I did make this, and it was excellent.  I use it over meatloaf, meatballs (especially in the crockpot),  heated with hamburger patties and as part of the sauce for Swiss steak.


Makes about 6 pints

* 2 cups sweet green peppers, chopped
* 2 cups chopped onions
* 24 large tomatoes (4 quarts peeled, cored, chopped)
* 1 tsp. ground allspice
* 1 tbls. salt
* 1 1/4 cup vinegar
* 1 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tbls. celery seed
* 1 tsp. ground ginger
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp. ground cloves

Combine and add all ingredients to a heavy sauce pan or cast iron skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 to 2 hours or till desired thickness has been reached. Stir often to prevent sticking. Pack hot jars with hot prepared tomato mixture leaving 1/2-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.

Boiling Water Bath Canner

* 1/2 Pints 15 minutes
* Pints 15 minutes

After processing, remove jars immediately, place on a rack to cool.
Test for Seal.

Of course we didn't get a frost after all, so the garden just keeps on growing and producing.

There are a LOT of tomatoes ripening now.

As well as peppers, orange, red and green.

The bunny greens are thriving.

As is the herb garden.

The newly planted spinach, lettuce and carrots are growing, and we've already had a salad of baby spinach with hot bacon dressing. Delicious!

The bush beans have to be picked daily.

I don't think there's time for the pole beans, but they are showing a few blossoms. If we can go another 2-3 weeks without a freeze, maybe.

The Red Sails lettuce hasn't done well for me. It stays small and only provides us with a few outer leaves for the rabbit. The carrots were planted very late, but I've actually pulled a few of edible size this week.

The old yellow crookneck went to the compost pile just in time, as the new plant is beginning to bear now. It is showing some powdery mildew, so I guess that is unavoidable this time of the year.

My poor clematis was annihilated by the puppies this spring. I dug the few roots that I could find and moved one to the blue pot and the others along the small garden fence. I really didn't think any would survive, but the one in the pot is showing some life!

I also planted pansies in the blue planter, and they are SO pretty, and smell so sweet!

My little garden may have taken an awful licking this spring, but it just keeps on ticking!


  1. Why cloves, cinn and ginger in chili?

    Great pics!

  2. You have one healthy, lush garden. Especially for this time of year. I wish my bell peppers would start turning like yours!

  3. Granny - that's a good haul! I would love to have a couple of those tomatoes. Why don't you ship some to me? Next day air, of course. I just took the opportunuity to get on here for a few minutes. I needed a little break from the pear peeling. Whew! This is gonna be a long evening. I was able to get almost 10 gallons of pears from the neighbor. I'm hoping to make around 16 - 18 jars of preserves with them. One of the jars might get to make a cross - country trip, if it knew where to go. (Email is a good thing). Anyway, your garden looks fantastic, as usual! Keep up the good work.

  4. EG, I wish I could help you with peeling those pears! We had a neighborhood apple peeling contest last year, and I won. I was the only one to remove the entire peeling without breaking it!

    I'm digging out my canning jars tonight, and will make the sweet chili sauce tomorrow. Then I'll have to post the only recipe I use it in, which is a very good Swiss steak.

  5. Dan, maybe they will turn color yet. I have only had two pure red ones, then the one in this post that is half red and half green, and I had two yellow ones early on. The three orange ones in this photo are my first of that variety to turn color, and they did that in just the last few days. I have no idea where the light green one in the photo came from, none of the others turned that color. Anyway, most of my peppers are still plain old green right now.

  6. no,

    This is a sweet chili sauce, not anything you would use in chili. It's more like catsup, and I use it for Swiss steak that comes from a recipe in an old Farm Journal cookbook. I have no idea why they call it "chili" sauce, as there are no chilies in it at all!

  7. Great shots Granny! Your garden is fabulous. Almost time to head south. We'll miss your garden. Gonna have to set one up in Arizona now!

  8. Oh, Sinfonian...I hope that grandbaby holds off until after the garden freezes! Mr. H is getting itchy to travel south already, and I'm just not ready to leave all those pretty veggies.

  9. What a lovely garden you have. :) Your plants all look so nice and healthy.