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With my recent trip down south, I got inspired to do some canning this year.  It's not the easiest thing in the world, but if you have a lazy stay-at-home Sunday, you can produce a lot of delicious canned food in a matter of hours.

One of the things I plan to make is Chow Chow.  It's practically unheard of in Montana, but I grew up putting this stuff on everything from burgers to pinto beans.  There are hundreds of variations, but primarily they are either cabbage or tomato based and range from mild to ridiculously hot.

If you're curious, I highly recommend giving it a shot.  You can scale this down, but as-is it will yield about a gallon:

25 to 30 large tomatoes
1 cup hot peppers (habanero, sctoch bonnets, jalapenos, etc.)
4 large white onions
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 1⁄2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons allspice
4 tablespoons salt

You'll need to peel and chop the tomatoes and put them in a large pot with your chopped hot peppers and onions.  Throw everything else in the pot and cook it down for about 45 minutes to an hour until it starts to get a bit thick.  After that you can just follow your basic canning instructions.  If you like sweet and hot, this is some good stuff to try out.

If that seems like a lot of work for something you don't know if you'll like, here is a link to some of the cabbage based stuff that tastes pretty great.  Last I checked, Cracker Barrel had some for sale too.  If you like the taste of either of those, give the homemade tomato version a try.


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