Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

What a wonderful weekend we are having here in Northwest Illinois! 70's & 80's, low humidity and plenty of sunshine! I've been off work since yesterday so have a 4 day weekend! I am so excited. I guess I shouldn't be since I was just off of work for a week and half in New Orleans, but I have so many odds and ends to catch up on. Nothing makes me happier than tying up loose ends.

I don't know what kind of weather we had while we were down south but the weeds took over all of the flower beds and fire pit area. Yesterday, I fought that battle, with granddaughter Ava's help. She didn't quite understand what we were doing. She kept scooping up bark with my hand trowel and throwing it in the bucket, but she was "helping". If I wasn't on my kneeling pad, she would get this really concerned look on her face and say "No, Gamma, No" and try and shove the pad under my knees. How cute is that? She loved her time outside and I so enjoyed my Ava time. I can't wait until Owen gets old enough to join in the fun.

I finally found a recipe for Chow Chow. I have been looking for one since we last visited our Tennessee friends, and had it for the first time. It's not something we have in Illinois. At least, I've never seen it anywhere.
Yesterday I made my first batch. For those of you fellow northerners, it's kind of a cabbage relish. If any of you folks from the south have a better/different recipe and would be willing to share it, I would love to have it.

Southern CHOW CHOW

Combine 2 quarts shredded cabbage (one medium head), 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion and 1 cup finely shopped green and red peppers. Sprinkle 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt over top. Let set in refrigerator for 4 - 6 hours. Drain well.

Combine the following and simmer for 10 minutes using a pan large enough to the put the vegetables in later.
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Add vegetables to vinegar mixture and simmer another 10 minutes.
Pack immediately into heated pint canning jars, leaving 1/8 inch head space. Seal with hot canning lids and tighten canning rings down. Turn upside down so that all the heat is on the seals on a towel on the counter top until cool. I got 3 pints out of this.

I couldn't believe the jars sealed using this method, but all 3 did. This is such a nice change for relish. We had it on pork in Tennessee and it was great! I can't wait to try it out.

Tonight we are headed to a cookout, tomorrow morning a motorcycle ride with Joe & Kristin, a bonfire tomorrow night and hopefully more riding after church on Sunday. It's been so long since we've had a total weekend of nice weather, we ARE going to take advantage of it.

Have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!

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