The Amish are some of America’s best cooks, preparing natural foods of incredible flavor and quality from ingredients grown on the farm. Chow Chow is one of their best!  A complex blending of flavors, it is a great relish that pairs well with roasts or burgers. Rooted in German cookery, its a genuine Amish delight.

This is a large recipe intended for putting up quite a volume to enjoy throughout Winter and Spring.

Amish Chow Chow
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Amish or Penn-Dutch
  • 4 Cups lima beans
  • 4 Cups green string beans
  • 2 Cups yellow wax beans
  • 4 Cups cabbage, chopped
  • 4 Cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 Cups carrots, sliced
  • 4 Cups celery, cut in chunks
  • 4 Cups red and green peppers, chopped
  • 4 Cups small white onions
  • 4 Cups cucumbers, cut in chunks
  • 4 Cups corn kernels
  • 4 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spices
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed
  1. Cook each vegetable separately until tender but not mushy. When each is finished lift out of hot water with a slotted spoon, and rinse with cold water to stop its cooking and preserve its color. Drain, then layer into a large dishpan.
  2. Combine the sugar, vinegar, water and spices in a 15-quart stockpot (or do half a batch at a time in an 8-quart kettle) and bring to a boil. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved, then spoon all the vegetables (or half of them, depending upon the size of the kettle) into the syrup and boil for 5 minutes. Stir gently, only to mix the vegetables well.
  3. Spoon carefully into hot sterilized jars and seal.
This canning project works well in late summer as gardening begins to wind down. Chow chow does not require the youngest, tiniest vegetables, so it is a way to use the last of the season's yield.

In some families, sisters get together for chow-chow making. That relieves the tedium of chopping and cooking the numerous vegetables that go into the most subtly flavored, variously textured and brightly colored chow chow.


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