Chow Chow Recipe

By Audra Snow


My husband and I bought our first house last fall, and I had wonderful garden plans. The plans involved nine raised beds that I asked him to build for me. Between the fact that “honeydo” is not an expression that sits right with him, and my lack of motivation to bug him about it, things got planted a little late.

Which meant that, come two weeks ago, I still had an incredible amount of green tomatoes. An amount I was not comfortable letting go to waste, but also an amount that was far too big for fried green tomatoes unless I felt like fried green tomatoes from now until April. So, I decided to teach myself how to can stuff. Turns out it’s time consuming, but not difficult.

My husband thinks I’ve gone nuts. I’ve started making bread (sourdough starter can be evil), dishwasher detergent, (I don’t think I’ve conquered it- our dishes can be questionable) Kombucha, and cheese (not easy AND questionable). I’m waging my own personal war against plastic, but I feel like you can’t even tell. Oh well, at least I’m trying!

I’ve made two batches of this Chow Chow. It pretty much tastes like a spicy bread and butter relish- which works great for me! Guess what everyone is getting for presents this year?

Chow Chow recipe 

OR, what to do with a shit ton of green tomatoes! a.k.a., so you think you want to can stuff because you’re sick of plastic?!

  • Recipe from
  • Plan on spending a good amount of time chopping. Seriously.
  • 8 cups chopped Cabbage (1 small head)
  • 6 cups chopped Green Tomatoes (about 4 medium–I used my green grape tomatoes so I used a lot more than 4)
  • 4 cups chopped Onions (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped Sweet Green Peppers (recipes says about 4 small- actually 2 peppers was plenty)
  • 1 cup chopped Sweet Red Peppers (recipes says about 2 small- 1 pepper was plenty)
  • 2 small Cayenne Peppers, chopped (I used serrano because I couldn’t find cayenne)
  • ¼ cup Salt (canning and pickling salt- regular salt will make the end result cloudy. Trust me on this.)
  • 3 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Celery Seed
  • 4 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Pepper Flakes
  • 5 cups White Vinegar


  1. Chop and dice all vegetables.
  2. Place in non-reactive container (glass, stainless, ceramic)
  3. Sprinkle with salt. Gently mix well.
  4. Let stand 4 to 6 hours, or overnight if possible. I kept it covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Drain well.
  6. Rinse and drain again.
  7. Combine Sugar, Spices and Vinegar in a large saucepot.
  8. Simmer 10 minutes.
  9. Add vegetables, simmer 10 minutes.
  10. Bring to a boil, cook until veggies are tender.
  11. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4inch headspace.
  12. Remove air bubbles.
  13. Wipe jar rims.
  14. Adjust two-piece caps.
  15. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner- I added 1 minute for every 1,000 feet I live above sea level, so I processed for about 20 minutes.


Audra lives in the southwest corner of Colorado where she is a modern pioneer on a mission to eliminate plastic from her daily life… Some things turn out better than others, but having it all means trying everything once.

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