June 8, 2009
When I married my husband, I gained more than a partner. I gained his mother along with foods that were dear to her and of course my hubby. Two foods that I had never had much to do with were christmas cake and tomato relish. I came to love and adore christmas cake and over the last twenty six years I have had lots of practise trying to find my own version of the ideal fruit cake.
One thing though that I've haven't tampered with has been the recipe for tomato relish. That is up until now. Not much of a tampering with really, but for show purposes I find the dinky di recipe is quite dark in colour. I feel the preserve would be better presented if it were lighter and more red. I decided to alter the vinegar from two cups of malt vinegar to one cup of malt and one cup of white. And I think it's made a big difference. I am much happier with the reddishness as previous relish preserves have looked rather brown and caramelly, if that makes any sense. At the end of the day however it is taste that should be the determining factor. I was pleased with the result but more importantly so were my two harshest critics; hubby and The Borb. At last year's show my tomato relish scored a third place. I have entered the same recipe for a few years and it's funny to observe how one year I can get a first place and then another absolutely nothing. It's always been the same recipe!
That first Christmas as a married couple my mother-in-law gave me the Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook. I think it was AWW'S first edition. I know it was my first cookbook ever and I cannot calculate the amount of hours, no days, that I have spent pouring over the pictures and recipes in that book. For a book that has lived with me for twenty six years, I am proud to say it is in very good condition. I am sure there are many Aussies who commenced their cooking library with this book. The great thing about it though is that it isn't sitting on the shelf collecting dust. All these years later, competing with over one hundred other cookbooks along side it and it is still well employed. If that isn't a testament to it's endurance and quality of recipes then I don't know what is.
adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly
Your tomatoes should look like the photo below after they have been skinned, diced, salted, covered and allowed to sit overnight. There will quite a bit of juice that will have leached from the tomatoes and that is a good thing.
After you have peeled, diced and salted the onion (and cried your eyes out), the onion should look like the picture below.
I couldn't wait to tuck in and enjoy it with some lovely crusty bread and cheese.
It was particularly delicious dolloped on top of some crusty bread and homemade meatloaf.
Our favourite way of enjoying tomato relish is on the side with lamb chops. Good old Aussie tucker.