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MéMère Poirier’s Green Tomato Chow

by Mireille Bourgeois


WOW. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve updated this blog. I’m pretty sure no one depends on this blog soooo I think it’s cool.

So I’ve undergone two job changes, a million and a half awesome independent art projects, I’ve got two art books coming out this fall, and am working on three exhibitions and one screening. It’s great AND extremely busy. The garden hasn’t been my primary focus and after weeks of rain, no sun, and no time, I gave up. I stopped watering the garden (yes, the sun eventually came out), never fertilized, and basically let the weeds do what they would.

Amazingly, my harvest was even better than last year. Sure I had three extra garden beds this year, but I was pretty excited that I seemed to have endless green beans, purple queen beans, and borlotto beans throughout the summer. Though the garden season was about a month late since the sun didn’t show up until August, my tomatoes stayed small and green for a good long while. Many of my pepper plants were stunted by the bad and cold weather, and my squashes and cucumbers and zucchinis never grew fruit, the plants eventually dying from powdery mildew. Poor garden!!!

A little trick for green tomatoes. If you think you could get a few to ripen, try wrapping them in newspaper for a few days. Check them every day and then separate the reddened ones from the green. I always have success with this. See below for comparison with the first picture.


Here’s a first little post about my lovely green tomatoes. It’s October 10th and I’ve just picked my latest batch of green tomatoes (some were red 😉 and will make curries green tomato salad, green tomato/jalapeno hot sauce, and maybe a couple of extra jars of chow.

The below recipe is one I made a few weeks ago now. It made about 8 bottles of chow (the medium sized), and is a family recipe that my aunt Nicole sent me: YAY.

Mémére Poirier’s Chow Chow

In a large pot layer:

Sliced green tomatoes
Sliced onions
Coarse salt
Every 3rd layer:  Sliced bitter apples (optional)

Keep doing this till you run out of tomatoes. Soak overnight. In the morning drain and add enough vinegar till you see it through the tomatoes.

Add sugar to taste, I like my chow bitter so start with 1 ½ cups.
About 1 tbsp pickling spice in a little bag made of cheesecloth.
Bring to a slow boil and cook till soft.  Not too much!


Put in sterile jars and seal. (check this website for proper bottling technique.)

Good to start eating the next day.




4 thoughts on “MéMère Poirier’s Green Tomato Chow

  1. I’m researching different chow recipes, esp. ones that don’t have peppers and cabbage in them. This recipe is very similar from one whose origins are in Nova Scotia, do you know where your recipe originated? Tomato, onion chow recipes are rare.
    I like your blog!

    Posted by Spoon Feast | October 28, 2013, 8:47 pm


  1. Pingback: Green Tomato Chow-Chow | Spoon Feast - October 29, 2013

  2. Pingback: Freezer veggies.. from the garden | hobbyjunkies - February 8, 2014

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October 2013
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