Friday, November 04, 2005

The Green Tomato Relish Caper

Emerson recently mentioned that he needed to pick all of the tomatoes before the first frost. So the evening that I heard it was supposed to frost, I said to Emerson: "If you want to get those tomatoes in before the frost you'd better pick them tonight." His grumpy reply was: "Well, why should I bother picking them if you're not going to do anything with them?!?"

He picked them.

Sigh. So now I felt compelled to "do something with them". I got on the internet and found a recipe for green tomato relish (actually it was called "Indian Relish"), that sounded like it might be pretty much like what his mother and sister used to make. So I gathered the rest of the ingredients, found some jars, bought some more jars, and set to work chopping all of the igredients.

Sigh. There were a LOT more tomatoes than I realized. Tuesday evening, I had just finished making the SECOND batch of 16 pints of relish. All the jars were filled. All the rounds and rings were in place and I was waiting to hear the jars "ping" indicating that they had sealed. While I was waiting, I began to clean up the mess from all the chopping, cooking, and jar filling. I happened to lick the spoon out of the pan.

Gasp!! Choke!! Sputter!!! I had left out one very important ingredient--the SUGAR!! Oh, it was so awful. Emerson suggested just putting sugar in as we opened each jat--but really, it was SIX CUPS of sugar that I had left out!!!

Big Sigh. I opened all the jars and dumped them back into the pan. I added the sugar. Turned the heat back up. I washed all the jars and lids. I put them back into the dishwasher so they would be hot again. Finally, all the jars were filled for the second time. And with great apprehension I waited for the "pings". This time, when I tasted the relish--it was sweet and quite tasty.

Now isn't that how Jesus is in our lives??? Without Him, our lives are all vinegar, salt, and onions. Very sour and completely awful. But when you add Jesus! How Sweet it is!! He doesn't take away the vinegar. He doesn't take away the salt. He doesn't tke out the onions. He just sweetens everything and makes life SO MUCH better. He makes it all come together into something good.

Hmmmm....I think the Bible says something like that....

"All things work together for good, for those who love God, and are called according to His purposes." Rom. 8:28

I'll be remembering to add sugar to my green tomato relish from now on. And healthy portions of Jesus to my daily life--to keep it sweet!!