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Cook's Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
The spring/summer vegetable season is in full swing. We will surely start seeing more and more road-side vegetable vendors in the coming weeks.
If your garden is starting to produce some fruits for your labor, I may have a few recipes that will be of interest to you. The first recipe is for Chow-Chow. I'm not sure if that's what you call it or not, but George Madden, my uncle by marriage and by choice, makes some of the best I've ever had. I carried a taste of his concoction to a church dinner once and my good buddy and fire-eater, Duane, asked for the recipe. I hope Uncle George won't mind, but I gave him what was left in the jar. His ears were red from the heat of the wonderful relish and his face was aglow with happiness. I'm down to my last jar of the good-stuff, but I know Chow-Chow season is here and my sweet, dear uncle will restock my pantry. Cross your fingers Duane!
The recipe Uncle George uses must be a secret because I certainly don't have it. I'm not sure if he even uses a written recipe or if he makes it from memory. Anyway, rest assured this is not his recipe, but I'm sure it'll do until you can find an Uncle George in your life. Don't ask - you can't have mine!
Chow-Chow
12 1/2 pounds green tomatoes, chopped
8 large onions, chopped
10 green bell peppers, chopped
3 tsp. salt
6 chopped green chile peppers
1 quart distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground allspice
One-fourth tsp. ground cloves
1 to 2 cups white sugar
One-half cup prepared horseradish
In a large bowl combine tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and salt. Let stand overnight. Drain the tomato/pepper mixture and add the hot chile peppers and vinegar. Wrap the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, sugar and horseradish in cheesecloth or a porous bag, and add to tomato/pepper mixture. Boil for 15 minutes, or until tender. Pack tightly in sterilized jars and seal.
Corn relish usually finds its way to our table during this time of year. It appears at church functions and pot-luck suppers throughout the area. I found two recipes in my collection for this wonderful dish. I've made many different recipes and haven't found a bad one yet. I do love corn and I do love peppers. Combine the two and it's pretty hard to beat.
Corn Relish
2 quarts sweet corn kernels
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp ground dry mustard
1 tbsp. celery seed
1 tbsp. mustard seed
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground turmeric
1 quart apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
In a large saucepan, mix corn, cabbage, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, white sugar, ground dry mustard, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, apple cider vinegar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Corn and Pepper Relish
2 cups whole kernel corn
One-fourth cup chopped green bell peppers
One-half cup onion, thinly sliced
6 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
One-fourth tsp. celery seed
One-half tsp. salt
One-fourth tsp. dry mustard
2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp. white corn syrup
In a medium saucepan, mix together the corn, green bell peppers, onion, sweet pickle relish, celery seed, salt, dry mustard, vinegar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to sterile jars and refrigerate until serving.
I hope you enjoy the fresh produce that will be harvested in the coming weeks and months. Just remember, if you have more than you know what to do with, call me. I can either give you a recipe to use the excess produce or, better yet, I'll take it off your hands!!!
Check back here next week when I plan to share some jelly recipes using some not-so-conventional ingredients. Remember you can share your ideas, thoughts and recipes with me at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com. I'd love to hear from you!
Until next week, Happy Cooking!!