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Chili Chow Chow

From: Chesley 
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2014 8:48 AM
Subject: chili chow chow


I like to drop in on your site from time to time.  I must admit that it is wonderful.
My grandparents lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  In the 50s, when I was young, I would visit them.
My grandmother made a relish that she called “chili chow chow”.  It wasn’t really a chow chow, 
as it had no cabbage in it. It was a tomato relish.  But not green tomatoes, ripe red ones.  
It wasn’t very sweet like some tomato relishes that I’ve eaten, and it wasn’t hot, either
It had tomatoes, maybe onions, probably a small amount of bell pepper, but I couldn’t really say for sure.

Do you have any recipes similar to that?  It was great on turnip greens, black eyed peas, etc.



Hi Chesley,

Chow Chow is typically made with cabbage and green tomatoes, and 95% of the recipes that I can find are made with those ingredients. Some of them are called “chili chow chow”, and this usually indicates that they have a bit of hot chili pepper in them. Finding chow chow recipes using red or ripe tomatoes and having no cabbage was even more difficult, but I did find a few. I did not find any recipes specifically called “chili chow chow” that had red or ripe tomatoes and no cabbage. See below and here for what I found: Food.Com

I have red tomato relish recipes here: Red Tomato Relish


Ripe Tomato Chow Chow
(King's Daughters Cookbook 1916)

36 ripe tomatoes
8 green peppers
8 TBSP "Wampum salt" *
16 dry onions
4 cups brown sugar
7 cups "Blue Bird vinegar" **

Boil for 2 or 3 hours, or until it thickens.

Notes by Phaedrus:
* ”Wampum salt” appears to be a brand of salt from the salt mines at Wampum, Pennsylvania. Regular salt will suffice.
** “Blue Bird vinegar” appears to be a brand of vinegar that was popular at the time.
Ripe Tomato Chow-Chow
(Newton, West. "Recipes Tested By the Families of the Parish and Comp: By the Women's Guild". 1921)

6 large ripe tomatoes. 1 large onion. 1 green pepper.
1 tablespoon salt.
2 tablespoons brown sugar.
2 cups vinegar.

Peel and slice tomatoes. Chop onion and pepper, add other ingredients. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. 
If tomatoes are very juicy use less vinegar. Bottle when cool.  
Red Tomato Chow-chow 
makes 6 to 7 pints. 

18 -20 tomatoes, ripe (or 5 28-fluid oz. cans, diced) 
1/2 head celery, fine dice 
6 large sweet peppers, fine dice (red or green or orange) 
4 large onions, fine dice 
3/4 cup white sugar (more, if necessary) 
3 tablespoons salt 
3 cups vinegar (preferably pickling vinegar) 
3 tablespoons pickling spices (tied in cheesecloth) 

1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot (preferably non-stick) and bring to a boil. 
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until desired consistency is reached. 
3. Stir very often to prevent burning. 
4. Pack into sterilized jars and seal.
Chow Chow

3 green sweet peppers, chopped
3 red sweet peppers, chopped
6 onions, chopped
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
8 sour apples, chopped
1 c. chopped celery
1 pt. vinegar
2 c. sugar
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
Place in sterilized jars; seal.  Yields 5 pints.
Ripe Tomato Chow Chow
5 qts. chopped ripe tomatoes
2 c. chopped hot peppers or to taste
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 tbsp. pickling salt
1 c. sugar
3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. cinnamon or allspice

Mix chopped vegetables, salt and sugar and simmer until it begins to thicken. 
Add vinegar and spice and cook until it becomes a thick sauce. Pour into hot jars and seal. 
Process jar 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
Ripe Tomato Chow-Chow
1 gal. ripe (peeled) tomatoes
10 onions, chopped
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper
1 handful salt
4 c. vinegar
3 tsp. spices (cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice)

Mix above ingredients and cook slow until thick, an hour or more. Pour into clean jars and seal.
 Thank you so very much!!!  This was a far quicker and more complete answer than I had hoped for.


Chocolate Drop Cookies

-----Original Message----- 
From: Terry 
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 4:30 PM
Subject: cookie recipe

Looking for a cookie recipe from Kay's Bakery in Memphis, TN.  I believe 
they were called chocolate drop or fudge drop cookies.  The cookie itself 
was not chocolate, but more of a soft buttery cookie with some type of nut 
ground into the dough.  Then the cookie was topped with a drop of decadent 
fudge icing.
Thanks so much!

Hi Terry,

The only thing that I could find about these was a few comments on message boards about how good they are. From those posts, the cookies are called "chocolate drop cookies." I had no success finding a recipe or a copycat for the Kay Bakery product. There is a Kay bakery website here, but no mention on it of these cookies: Kay Bakery

I'll post this on my site in the hopes that a reader can help, but my advice would be to make your request of the food columnists in The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Reduced to speculation, I'd say these are a shortbread cookie with fudge frosting, but I've no idea what Kay Bakery's particular recipe might be.



From: Cathy 
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 11:21 AM
Subject: recipe for Duz


Going through my great-grandmother’s recipe book, I came across an unusual recipe and could find nothing 
on the internet or your site about it. I can’t tell what it is by the ingredients, so maybe if you can, 
you may be able to at least categorize it. Please let me know if you can decipher what this is, at the 
least you can add it to your files, maybe someone else will be looking for this or come up with an explanation.



1/2 gallon vinegar
5 lbs sugar
1 dozen eggs

This is exactly how it was written in her cookbook, not much to go on I admit. Any ideas?
Hi Cathy,

I need more than just the ingredients. What do the instructions for the recipe say? For mixing? For cooking? Also, where did your great-grandmother live? And what was her ethnic origin?


From: Cathy 
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 12:29 PM
To: 'Phaedrus' 
Subject: RE: recipe for Duz

Sorry, that’s all there is. No instructions for cooking at all. That‘s why it’s so hard for me to figure out what it is.

Both of her parents were born in Germany, she was born in Aurora, Indiana then moved to Ohio when she married.

Hi Cathy,

Sorry, I can’t find anything like that. Duz was an old, old brand of detergent. Maybe it’s a shopping list:

1/2 gallon vinegar
5 lbs sugar
1 dozen eggs

Anyhow, I’ll post this on the site in case a reader has some input.


You may be right about the grocery list, It certainly looks like one after you have made that suggestion. Thanks for posting.


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