Sep 3, 2008

Great grandmother's tomato relish

My Nana's mother had a recipe book. Handwritten in a notebook are all the recipes - and some sewing and knitting patterns - that she used.

I never knew my Nana's mum. She died when my Nana was just 12 years old. Since then my Nana and my own mother have passed away and so this notebook treasure has come into my possession. When I was about 12 I wanted to type it out to preserve the recipes but my good intentions reached as far as a few pages, long since lost. The notebook is markedly worse for wear now, nearly 20 years later, and the mice have had a field day with the corners (My Nana had forgotten it was in the bottom of one of her kitchen cupboards and was horrified to discover this evidence of rodents in her domain). Sadly some of the recipes have vital bits missing thanks to the mice.

I have rekindled my good intentions, so as I type them up into a document, I shall post some here as well, to share the discoveries.

All measurements will be Imperial, not US (see here for conversion).

I will type them as she wrote them. If you're going to try them out (and I hope some people do!) please do remember that she was cooking on a coal range, and wrote these recipes down for her own usage, so her instructions may be confusing or incomplete where she just knew what to do next.

Tomato Relish

15 large tomatoes
4 large onions
1 lb sugar
1 quart vinegar
5 chillies
Cut up in small rounds. Boil together 1 1/4 hours - Add 1 dessertspoon of Curry powder, 1 dessertspoon mustard and 1/2 cup of flour - mix with a little cold vinegar and boil a few minutes.

From what I can guess, based on 'traditional' New Zealand cookery, 'mustard' will mean dry mustard powder, as opposed to mustard that's ready to use from a jar or bottle.

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