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Don’t forget to relish these pickles, relishes

Cathie Campbell/For The Madera Tribune Mustard pickles are tangy and wake up your taste buds. They go great with many types of meat.


Last year, I was given an old, traditional family recipe for mustard pickles, which were served along with roast turkey or pork. I used to love to see that bright yellow delight on the table at family gatherings, as I enjoyed it more than the main dish! Especially the cauliflower and pearl onions.

My aunt called the recipe chow chow, but it is not like what most people have come to expect from a relish by that same name.

I also love all sorts of other pickles and relishes. I have been known to eat corn relish right out of the jar and it never made it to the table. If you are a relish and pickle fan, it is my hope you find something here you will be inspired to try. Auntie’s mustard pickles

Next time I make this I am going to cut way back on the lima beans and add more cauliflower. Sorry about all my notes added in, but I hope they are helpful to you. 1 quart pickling onions (I just use the pickled cocktail onions that come in a jar) 2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets 4 red or green bell peppers (I use 2 red, 2 green), cut into bite-sized pieces 1 pint midget sweet pickles, cut small (I use about a pint and a half) 2 quarts cider vinegar 1/2 pound dry mustard (I found 4-oz. cans of Colman’s Mustard at Winco) 1 cup sugar 1 cup flour 2 tablespoons turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cans (15.25-oz. or 16-oz. each) whole-kernel corn 2 pounds baby lima beans, cooked 1 pound green beans, cooked and cut into small pieces

  1. Steam veggies until crisp-tender, or blanch in boiling water. I cook each vegetable separately in order to make sure none get over or undercooked. Do not allow to become too soft. Drain very well. Mix them all together in a very large bowl (I had to use 2 separate bowls) and set aside.

  2. In a large pot, mix the mustard powder, sugar, flour, turmeric and salt. Add the vinegar, mixing well. Cook over medium heat, stirring very frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture boils and becomes thickened (about the consistency of a thin sour cream).

  3. Add mustard sauce evenly over the one or two bowls of vegetables, stirring gently until all are coated.

  4. Pack chow chow into clean, glass jars, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with melted paraffin wax. When wax has cooled and become firm, place lids on the jars. Allow chow chow to sit about a week before eating. Makes 16 jars (each jar equal to or pretty close to 1 pint). Recipe may be cut in half, if desired, but why go to all that trouble for a smaller amount?

More notes:

  1. I just used saved jars from pickles, sauerkraut, marinated artichokes, relish, etc. I sterilized them and kept them in the hot water until they were filled.

  2. You can use the water bath method if you prefer, but I don’t because I am afraid the veggies will cook and get mushy. Also, paraffin has been the method used for generations and nobody ever had a problem with anything “going bad”, at least not in my family.

  3. This recipe was adapted by me. The ingredients are the same but the original called for cooking the veggies in with the mustard sauce. I cooked them separately for more control on crispness. And the pickled pearl onions are so much easier than using fresh onions.

Spicy cold eggplant

This is great on crackers. 2 medium eggplants 3 tablespoons light soy sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon peanut oil 1 tablespoon chopped or pressed garlic 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, grated 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Put eggplant in top of steamer. Steam for 30 minutes until tender to the center and in collapsed condition; allow to cool.

  2. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, salt, sherry and sesame oil; set aside.

  3. In a saucepan, heat the peanut oil with garlic and ginger for about 10 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil then remove from heat and allow to cool.

  4. Scrape or cut skin from eggplant and cut the flesh into small pieces. Pour sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Sweet and sour onions

2 pounds fresh white cocktail onions 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Cook onions in boiling water to cover for 10 minutes; drain. Plunge into ice water to prevent them from cooking any longer; drain. Peel onions and set aside.

  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and sugar together, whisking often, until the butter is melted. Whisk in vinegar and salt.

  3. Add onions and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Makes about 3 cups.

Sweet and hot corn relish

9 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed 2 pounds sweet onions, chopped 2 cups chopped red and green bell peppers 1 cup (or to taste) minced hot peppers, such as jalapeno or Hungarian red wax 3 cups cider vinegar (at least 5 percent acidity) 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon canning salt or kosher salt 2 teaspoons dry mustard 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon turmeric

  1. Prepare jars and lids as follows: Fill a water bath canner about halfway full of water. Add the jars and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep jars hot. Scald the lids and keep them in the hot water.

  2. In a large pot, combine corn, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard, celery seed and turmeric. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

  3. Spoon the relish into the hot jars and wipe rims and jar threads with a damp paper towel. Using a jar lid magnet or tongs, fit the jars with lids and screw on rings tightly. (Should have a little bit of give, though.)

  4. Place on a rack in the canner and lower jars into the water. Bring pot back to a boil, cover and boil gently for 15 minutes, or as your canner instructions suggest. Makes 6 to 7 1-pint jars.

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