Archive for November, 2013

Not a dog. Not a commercial for cat food.

A Pennsylvania Dutch traditional food. I can remember my mother and grandparents raving about it.

Commercial chow chow

Commercial chow chow

It’s pickled vegetables – beans, corn, carrot, cauliflower. Here’s a typical recipe.  I’d try it as a kid, but I never really like it.

I’m just not much of a pickle fan. I don’t like relish (except my zucchini relish!!) I don’t like pickled anything, really.

But in late summer, with a glut of cabbage and green tomatoes, I was paging through an old Pa. Dutch Cookbook I stole from my mother* and came across a recipe for chow chow that was unlike the chow chow I knew. No beans, no corn, no carrots…instead, green tomatoes, cabbage and onions. And lots of mustard and ginger.

Desperate to do something with my produce, I gave it a try.

Revelation! Chow chow is delicious!! I love it. Olivia loves it. We eat it on sandwiches and with hot dogs (you know those horrible vegetarian hot dogs that even your dog won’t eat? Chow chow makes them taste great!!) and with potatoes or just as a side dish with anything, really.


Chow Chow Recipe

2 quarts chopped cabbage (I shredded mine)

1 quart chopped green tomatoes

6 large onions, chopped (I shredded these, too)

3 sweet red peppers, chopped

2 lb. sugar

4 Tbs. dry mustard (I didn’t have quite this much, but it still tastes mustardy)

3 Tbs. white mustard seed

1 1/2 Tbs. celery seed ( I only had ground celery seed and threw in a bunch)

1/2 Tbs. ginger (I used more to make up for the missing mustard!)

vinegar to cover (about 8 cups)

1 Tbs. cloves

Put each kind of vegetable in a separate bowl and sprinkle a small amount of salk over each. Let stand for 4 hours. Press juice from each vegetable and combine. Mix the dry ingredients and rub into a pete by using a small amount of vinegar. Then add all the vinegar and heat to boiling. Put in the vegetables and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Pack into sterile jars and seal. Cover jars with boiling water and process for 15 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 quarts.


*This is the stolen cookbook.

AAAA photos of cookbook and recipe

On the inside cover is a price tag – $1.00 at the Provident Bookstore, now the Friendly Bookstore in Quakertown, PA. It’s copyrighted 1978, but in a quick Google search,  I couldn’t find  the publishing company, so I presume it no longer exists. You can still get copies of it, though, even on Amazon.

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