10 July 2013

Chow Chow!

A friend called me up, the applesauce one, to say she had received half a garbage bag of yellow squash. We quickly made plans to tackle it together. The next day, we had quite the haul. We basically just cleaned out the fridge. In addition to the squash, we had cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic. Now, this is one of those recipes that is very loosey goosey. Just use what you have. It may be more sweet or tart or stout than your last batch, but that's kind of the joy of it.

1. Trim and seed as necessary. We seeded the squash, as they were a little big, and the peppers, so the heat wouldn't be too much.
2. Shred up everything. My friend has a food processor, which made this bearable and pretty. Even if you don't, an extra set of hands will help it go quickly, and there is something special about conversation in the kitchen.
3. In a pot, bring 9c vinegar (I love ACV), 6c sugar, 6Tbsp pickling spice to a boil. Cut the heat and let steep. It's always better to have too much liquid than not enough. You could definitely experiment with different spices, but we were noobs to chow chow and played it safe.
4. Sprinkle 1/2c salt over 8c shredded veggies and cover with water. Let sit for 1 hr. We had 3 bowls going at once.
5. Rinse and drain vegetables. Fill jars about 3/4 full. Here you can add extra garlic and/or peppers. We did habaneros! Use chunks just to infuse. Chop it up for full flavor. Taste your liquid first, so you can adjust the sweetness if needed.
6. Fill with pickling liquid, leaving 1/2" headspace.
7. Process for 15 minutes in a HWB. We ended up with 8 quarts and 6 half pints. It is tangy and sweet with a hint of heat. Some jars were extra spicy though! ;)

What do you do with chow chow? My friend eats it right out of the jar! But others use it to top burgers, hot dogs, bbq, or on top of pintos or greens.

We had a really great day, and now I like chow chow! Yay summer!

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