chow chow prep

Chow-chow is a delicious southern pickled relish. I grew up eating chow-chow as a condiment on collard greens,  crab cakes, hot dogs, and hamburgers. I recently learned that there is a host of folks that have never heard of chow-chow, including some southerners. I have tweaked the original family recipe to fit my palate; hope you like it.


10 large firms green tomatoes, peeled, 3 medium-size firm red heirloom tomatoes, 6 mirlitons, 3 red bell peppers, 10 medium white onions, 1 medium cabbage, 1/2 cup sea salt, 4 cups white vinegar, 1 cup water, 3/4 teaspoon dried mustard, 2 1/2 tablespoons crushed red peppers, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons liquid crab boil.  Cheese-Cloth bundle: 1 teaspoon dried ginger, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 2 tablespoons allspice berries, 2 tablespoons whole cloves, 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, 2 tablespoons celery seeds, 2 tablespoons pickling spices, 2 cinnamon sticks.  Tie off the bundle.

Wash all your vegetables, then chop them up and put them in a large glass container. Sprinkle with salt put a top on the container, set aside for at least 12 hours.  Now cover the vegetables with cold water, set aside.  In a large pot, add the vinegar, sugar, and the cheesecloth bundle bring to a rapid boil, reduce the heat, add the vegetables and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add hot mixture into pint jars, leaving about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Cover immediately with the 2-piece metal lids and screw on the rings.  Add the jars to a pot of boiling water bath for 10-12 minutes, this process seals the lids.

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