It seems absolutely incredible that 2kg of tomatoes picked from the garden seemed – on June 20 when I planted up the hardened off shoots – unimaginable. The garden looks very different now. I spectacularly failed to keep on top of the Moneymakers as their stems thickened, possibly because a severe long-lasting histamine reaction to the plants’ sticky hairs made me a little wary of going near them.
Technically I should have waited before I started harvesting. I should at least have waited until they’d showed the first signs of turning red .. shouldn’t I?
The truth is, I couldn’t wait. And with the next two weeks looking ridiculously busy with work and edits and interviews not to mention packing for our annual holiday, I figured this morning was the time to pick the unripened tomatoes and turn them into green tomato chutney. What I feared was that they’d end up ripening and then rotting on the vine when we were aware sunning ourselves on holiday.
So it was. 2kg of tomatoes. 500g apples (picked from one of our neighbour’s apple trees), 700ml of malt vinegar, red and green chillis, fresh ginger and 1kg of onions.
One hour later – shortly after the end of a surprisingly interesting edition of The Reunion on BBC Radio 4 about the Millenium Dome – and I’ve got six jars worth of tasty green tomato chutney begging for some cheese or (at the very least) a home. Our next door neighbour got one jar (she provided the jars and the labels) and my parents visiting London for the Rogers and Hammerstein Prom got another. Two oversized old mayonnaise jars currently contain the remainder of the mixture.