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Tomato Chow-chow. Mrs. A. H. Kling. Recipe

Recipe for Tomato Chow-chow by Mrs. A. H. Kling:

Tomato chow-chow is a delightful and tangy relish that has been enjoyed for generations. This versatile condiment can be used to enhance the flavors of various dishes, from sandwiches and hot dogs to stews and casseroles. The recipe was popularized by Mrs. A. H. Kling and has stood the test of time due to its delicious taste and simplicity.

But before we delve into the recipe, let's talk a bit about the history of chow-chow. The origins of this relish can be traced back to the southern United States, where it was commonly made in households to preserve an abundance of vegetables, particularly green tomatoes and cucumbers. The name "chow-chow" is believed to have derived from the Hindi word "chāw-chāw," which means a mixture of miscellaneous ingredients. Over time, the recipe evolved, and various versions can now be found across different regions.

Now, onto the recipe itself. Here is a traditional recipe for tomato chow-chow:

Ingredients:
- 1/2 peck (approximately 8 quarts) green tomatoes
- 2 large heads of cabbage
- 15 onions
- 25 ripe cucumbers
- 1 pint grated horseradish
- 1/2 pound white mustard seed
- 1 ounce celery seed
- 1/2 teacup ground pepper
- 1/2 teacup turmeric
- 1/2 teacup cinnamon
- 2 gallons vinegar
- 3 pounds brown sugar
- 1/2 pound mustard

Instructions:

1. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly and prepare them by cutting the tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and cucumbers into small pieces.

2. Place the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle them generously with salt. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight. This step helps to draw out excess moisture from the vegetables.

3. The next morning, drain off the brine that has formed. Rinse the vegetables with cold water to remove excess salt.

4. In a separate pot, mix equal parts vinegar and water, and pour it over the drained vegetables. Allow them to soak in this vinegar-water mixture for 24 hours.

5. After the soaking period, drain the vegetables once again and transfer them to a large pot or preserving kettle.

6. Add the grated horseradish, white mustard seed, celery seed, ground pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon to the pot with the vegetables. Mix everything together thoroughly.

7. In another pot, combine the vinegar and brown sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil and then pour it over the vegetable-spice mixture in the preserving kettle. Stir well to ensure that all the flavors are evenly distributed.

8. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the following two mornings, boiling the vinegar and sugar mixture and pouring it over the vegetables while hot.

9. On the third morning, add the mustard to the chow-chow mixture and stir it in thoroughly. Continue stirring until the mixture is nearly cold.

10. Ladle the tomato chow-chow into sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal the jars tightly and process them in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes to ensure proper preservation.

Once the chow-chow is prepared and stored, it is advised to allow it to sit for a few weeks before consuming. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the taste of the relish.

Now that you have mastered the art of making tomato chow-chow, you can embark on a culinary adventure by exploring similar recipes. Some variations of chow-chow include the addition of other vegetables such as bell peppers, green beans, or corn kernels. You can also experiment with different spice blends, adding ingredients like cloves, allspice, or red pepper flakes to create a unique flavor profile.

Whether enjoyed as a condiment, a topping, or a side dish, tomato chow-chow adds a delightful zing to any meal. This classic recipe by Mrs. A. H. Kling ensures that you can savor the traditional flavors of chow-chow and embrace the culinary heritage it represents.

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