Preserving Mountain Flavors – Day 5

Chow chow

I’ve so enjoyed my Mountain Flavors class-the students have been wonderful-and the food has been outstanding. But today might might have been my favorite day. We made chow chow, 2 kinds of pickled beets, and bread n butter pickles.

Appalachian women

Right after lunch, one of my all time favorite ladies came by to talk about mountain food with us. She told us about the foods her Mother made when she was a child; about the foods she cooked for her family; then she let us ask her all sorts of questions-and we asked a lot!

Since she was born and raised just up the road, Nanette asked her if she ever visited the Folk School as a child. Turns out-when she was in 8th grade her school principal took them to the folk school to dance on a regular basis and one of her older sisters worked at the folk school and lived on campus during the 50s. She remembered getting to spend the night with her sister during that time.

In my humble opinion-cooks like our visitor are the best in the world. All those years of cooking and preserving for your family and neighbors teach you more about cooking than any class ever could.

Bottles from union county

Just before the day ended, Tom, a fellow contra dancer and movie cast member, dropped by with 4 old bottles for me. He’s been working in one of the oldest houses in Union County GA. As soon as he found the bottles he thought of me-and boy I’m glad he did! The bottles were the perfect end to a perfect day.

Tipper

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky
    May 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I love getting tips from my neighbors!
    And I love those bottles, too!!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    B-we did put green tomatoes in the chow chow. My beets aren’t ready for eating yet-but hopefully they will be soon : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Ethelene-Sam Ensley wrote the song Little Old Ladies-and Paul is performing it : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    May 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Love your story… I was raised growing and putting food by…

  • Reply
    Osagebluffquilter
    May 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Your visitor sounds like a great way to spend the afternoon.
    I forgot about your “movie” Tim Ryan was talking about it last week.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    May 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Oh I love Chow Chow and that looks so good..You’ll have to share with us..I’m glad you’re enjoying your cooking..Been quite busy this week, hope all is well with you..Happy Mother’s Day.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    May 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Ohhhhhh, now I’m cryin! I really wanted to do that workshop and you’ve done some of my most favorite things. My mother-in-law (God rest her) absolutely adored chow chow. When we still lived in Georgia and would visit Michigan, we always brought her several pints of chow chow. It just isn’t available up here. I adore pickled beets. Can hardly wait for the vegetables to start coming in to the farmers’ markets. I’m even gonna give growing a few things in my own yard a shot. Gotta pull out all the rhubarb that has taken over the only sunny area in my yard, first.

  • Reply
    quinn
    May 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Glad your class was such a pleasure to all! Thanks for sharing it with those of us who would have loved to be there 🙂

  • Reply
    Ken
    May 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Tipper,
    I bet you’re exhausted from all
    that cookin’ and bakin’ this week.
    But we have been there for you and
    enjoyed the learning experience too.
    On your music player, I think Paul
    sounds even better than James Taylor singing about “Little Old
    Ladies.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    May 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    It sounds like my kind of day!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Tipper,
    I guess you don’t remember when flavorings came in nice glass bottles with metal caps…I sure wish I had a set of those little glass bottles (square)of food coloring bottles from the forties. They had tiny holes, you had to shake to get a drop…then you invariably got a blob that would make your icing too dark, red or yellow…etc..LOL
    Sometime I will tell you about the orange biscuits…LOL
    Thanks for the memories…Tip

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    The middle bottle looks like another syrup bottle and it looks like it has syrup, or its residue, in the bottom. Do my eyes deceive me?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    What a week!! You guys made some real food. Seems to me that there are as many varieties of relish as there are cooks making it. I expect that is at least in part, because the original cooks made the relish out of whatever was available in the garden. They didn’t have the luxury of running to the grocery for more peppers or onions.
    That woman who came by to talk to the class is what I call a person with “real knowledge” coming from the experience of life. Those folk are best paid attention to.
    Congratulations on a successfully completed class!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    May 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I did my first canning about two years ago making salsa and pickles. I really eanjoyed it; my neighbor got me interested and since I was retired I decided to play. It was so much fun. I have not tried the chow chow or the relish type. I might just try my hand at. Thanks for the story.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Tipper, I enjoyed all the Mountain Cooking posts! No better “receipts” than the old ones, and no better cooks than those who learned the old-fashioned way–by watching a good cook and emulating her ways! And I enjoyed the song, “Little Old Ladies”. Is the vocalist and picker Sam Ensley? Wonderful!

  • Reply
    Belva
    May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I love chow chow, pickled beets, and bread and butter pickles. I think it is great that the art of preserving and cooking is being taught to people that can continue to hand that knowledge down to future generations. I used to help my mother make these things, but just haven’t had the time what with working full time. That is something else that I am looking forward to when I retire!

  • Reply
    Shirla
    May 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I’m not sure the pickle day would have been my favorite. The pie day sounded much better. I’m sure you had a good time regardless of what was cooking. Can’t wait for you to share some recipes.

  • Reply
    Alica
    May 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Chow Chow and Pickles are very common here in Lancaster County…they’re also a very PA Dutch food. I make tons of pickles every year…bread and butter are my/our favorite! This year I’m hoping to make some chow chow…this would be a good project for me and my Mom to do together!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Tipper,
    That chow chow looks good, and so purty…Did you put green tomatoes in it…or just cabbage, onions and pepper?
    I haven’t made chow chow in years…It seems I used the recipe from the Ball Blue Book…That was Mother’s and Grandmothers canning bible, if you needed a question about canning…LOL The recipe I used always came up with 11 pints..go figure..
    One time a man, a new aquaintance per another friend, asked if I made chow chow and I told him I usually made a run or two every summer…He some how knew I was wanting a pure white Rose of Sharon…he said he knew where one was and would trade me a white Sharon for a couple of jars of chow chow…So soon that summer I sent him some jars of chow chow…Several weeks passed and I got word that he couldn’t get the white Sharon…but soon an envelope of seeds came by the courier….LOL
    I planted them, thinking they were probably a mix. It took a couple of years for them to bloom but they were pure white…LOL
    I hope his chow chow was just as good…I never heard from him again…??? LOL
    Thanks Tipper, Would love some of those recipes….I’d love some roasted beets..how are your beets doin’?

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    May 11, 2012 at 7:21 am

    We always made ‘chow-chow’ to have with beans. Granny made the best! Odd, I have her receipt for it, written in her own hand, but mine is never quite what hers was.
    I wonder if she left some secret ingredient out when she wrote it.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 11, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Ed-we made pepper jelly this week-it was really good. I’m planning on making it later in the summer and I’ll share the recipe-it has a variety of peppers and I think onions in it too : ) I bet your Mother’s pepper relish was the best.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 11, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I’ve gotten myself in a pickle many times but never made my own. Mommy used to make some “pepper relish” that was awful good stirred into pinto beans. It had onions and two or three kinds of peppers. What else I don’t recall. It was sweet but had a bite too. I wish I had her recipe ’cause I can’t even come close.
    Do you make pepper relish?

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