The day before the first freeze here in North Texas we were busily gathering crops. One of these crops were tomatoes; green tomatoes that is. Here in the south our first crop of tomatoes, before the hotter than hell period, ripen up beautifully. Then there is a tomato lull, followed by new fruits when the weather starts to turn cool again. The problem is there is not enough time for these new beginnings to mature and turn that sweet bright red before the first freeze. These conditions mean green tomatoes and lots of them. So what to do with all these firm tart green orbs? First, storing them before you can get time to turn them into something useful is tricky. They will rot and fast. You have a few options. One is wrapping them in newspaper another is layering them in crates/boxes with wood shavings. We have rabbits so happen to have a lot of wood shavings on hand. First I picked out all the tomatoes that I thought might turn juicy and red in a sunny window sill, the rest I layered in crates with wood shavings in my garage.
That will keep them from spoiling while I figure out what I want to do with them. I plan to split the crop between fried green tomatoes and chow chow. I am well aware that these two things are southern staples, but surprisingly I had not heard of either. Thank goodness my gardening friend Sam had heard of chow chow and knew how to make it. Here is my chow chow recipe, which is good on many different dishes and also makes a great homemade Christmas gift. From my homestead to yours; Chow Chow.
If you don’t know what chow chow is like me. Prepare to be enlightened. It is a relish, pickle, spicy, yummy goodness that you can put it on just about anything from scrambled eggs to beans and potatoes. It is good stuff which your whole family will enjoyed!
- 16 cups green tomatoes, cut in pieces/or in food processor.
- 4 cups onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped.(Don't forget gloves)
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 6 cups sugar
- ⅛ cup salt or to taste
- Chop all veggies in food processor
- Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil in large pot. Cook on med for 30 min.
- Fill canning jars( sanitize jars ahead of time in dishwasher or with boiling water)
- Wipe off rims, put lids on and put in a water bath for 15 min.
- Do not overcook.
- Take jars out of hot water bath, place on dry towel and listen to the seals pop,(music to a homesteaders ears)
Here are some things you will find indispensable for canning up these green fruits. Trust me I have done it without them; you want them! Water bath canning kit.
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