In Search Of The Perfect Chow-chow

Through the winter months there is nothing more satisfying on a snowy evening than a pot of pinto beans and skillet of cornbread.

What makes a down home experience of this proportion more appealing is to break out a jar of summer memories in the form of chow-chow.

Chow-chow must be made when the getting is good. Tomato never stays green forever.

I sometimes wonder how I have a garden ripe tomato in my home the way I love winter chow-chow and summer green fried tomato. My garden must know this and truly love me to put forth more effort. It always does supply ripe tomato for canning and eating on bread with mayo.

Chow-chow must be loved unconditionally. He is such a mess in the process. All that chopping and gooey mess on your stove top is enough to wonder if chow-chow is worth the effort. But when you love someone, you just love them.

Here is the recipe I use which I have tweaked to my and family taste.

Can’t remember the original form, the recipe is very forgiving however and I have never had a more perfect chow-chow.

Hot Chow-Chow

1 each cabbage head — coarsely chopped, large head
3 each onion — coarsely chopped
5 each green tomatoes — coarsely chopped
2 each bell pepper — coarsely chopped
4 each hot pepper — chopped fine, your choice I use a combination banana, jalapeno
1/4 cup coarse salt
2 cups vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard, 2 to 3 to taste
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon celery seed

Chop all veggies and place in a large crock. Pour salt over vegetables and then cover with water.

Place in refrigerator about 1 hour. Drain well.

In a large kettle place mustard and mix well with vinegar. Add sugar and all spices.

Bring mixture to a boil and boil 15 minutes.

Add vegetables and boil another 10 minutes stirring often.

Ladle into sterile jars and seal making sure jar rims are clean. Place in canner and process 5 minutes.

Remove jars and check that they seal properly and are airtight before storing.

“4 pints”


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