Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Ginny’s Piccalilli


green tomatoesThe last time I visited my in-laws, John’s mom reminded me about Piccalilli. Dad and I had been out walking around in his garden, both of us bragging how many green tomatoes we already had, and who would produce the first red one. He’s still bitter about the fact that my wisteria is laden with abundant flowers, and his much older vines have yet to bring forth a single bloom.  But I digress…

Little GinnyAs we were talking about green tomatoes Ginny suddenly said, “Do you remember that relish you made for me? It was so delicious! It was like what my mother made back in Massachusetts…”  My mother-in-law’s face was ecstatic!

I had to laugh. It’s been more than 25 years since I made that piccalilli, and to think that the memory of it is right up there with my mother-in-law’s cherished childhood memories.

I must be getting old!

inspiration cookbook

It had been so long since I made piccalilli that I don’t even know what recipe I used, but I remembered most of the basic ingredients. Since it’s an old fashioned sort of food, I decide to look in my 1942 Woman’s Home Companion Cookbook.  I have at least 50 cookbooks crowding two shelves, but I hardly ever follow a recipe to the T.  This was no exception.  But it’s pretty close.

*The process is very easy but it takes at least 8 hours or overnight to prepare.

About 7 medium-sized green tomatoes

2 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 yellow onions

1/2 cup salt

1 quart cider vinegar

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon celery seed

2 tablespoons mustard seed

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon horseradish

½ teaspoon whole cloves

Canning jars (5 or 6 pint sized jars or 2 quart sized jars)

Canning lids and rings

chop vegetables

Cut the tomatoes in half and then slice them into nice chunky bite-sized slices.

Slice peppers and onion to about the same size

stir in salt

Place in a large bowl and mix in the salt.

Cover, and let stand overnight.

vegetable water accumulates

In the morning (or after about 8 hours) drain off the salt water that will have formed.

Do not rinse.


While vegetables are draining, wash your jars and fill them with hot water. (In the past I have had canning jars break when I put something hot into a cold jar – quite a mess!)


Place the canning lids into a pot of water and bring it to a boil, then turn it off. The hot water softens the rubber so you get a better seal on the jars.


Mix the cider vinegar, sugar and spices in a large pot, and bring the mixture to a boil.

add to brine

Add the drained vegetables, and bring it back just to a boil. Turn off heat.

seal jars

Fill the clean hot jars, put on the lids and tighten the rings.

waiting for the ping

Allow the jars to stand upside down on the counter for an hour or so, then turn them upright.

I love hearing the “ping” as each jar seals!

And I can hardly wait to see mom’s face next week when I bring her a few jars of “Ginny’s Piccalilli”

Ginny's Piccalilli


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

4 thoughts on “Ginny’s Piccalilli

  1. I remember Grammy’s piccalilli. We loved it on hamburgers. I guess they were wise to leave out the fact that it was made with green tomatoes. I love that photo of my Mom as a child. Thanks for posting it all!!!!!

  2. Thank YOU! We opened your piccalilli last night and had it with grilled hamburgers. Delicious!!!! It tasted exactly as I remembered it. I recall the tomatoes and onions (I didn’t know they were tomatoes and onions at the time) being cut thinner, but that was the only difference. I like this texture, too, though. And the flavor was perfect! We had friends over who loved it, too! Bravo!

  3. Thanks! I’m glad you guys liked it Mark!

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