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Chow-Chow Recipe Photo

Chow-Chow (Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Vegetables)

Makes 16 pints

The Pennsylvania Dutch are famous for their pickles, relishes and condiments, often served as part of the traditional 'sweets and sours' with a large meal. Chow-Chow, in my recollection, has always been one of the favorites. It is made up of a variety of vegetables that are in season near the end of the summer. I remember a church in Dryville, PA, used to make batches of chow-chow to sell for a fund-raiser. This is my grandmother's recipe. It is, without a doubt, the best chow-chow I have ever eaten. I have only tasted one store-bought variety that came close, and it was purchased at a farmers' market in Asheville, NC. The difference is primarily in the combination and size of the vegetables. In this recipe, the vegetables are cut into small pieces whereas, in most other varieties, they are processed or shredded. It takes some effort, but will reap the rewards for months.


Cook dried beans separately, according to package directions, until tender. Rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside. Cook all other fresh vegetables separately until crisp-tender; drain and immerse immediately in ice water. This will stop cooking and help retain color. Set aside.

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in large stockpot or kettle large enough to hold all ingredients. Bring to a boil, being certain sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Add the cooked beans, vegetables, canned onions and gherkins. Bring back to boil, then reduce heat and keep at a simmer. Place in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space, and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes at an altitude up to 1,000 feet, 15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet. (Processing times are based on guidelines provided by the USDA National Food Safety Database.)

Notes: Recipe can be made in smaller amounts and, rather than processing, kept in the refrigerator for up to two months.