Joy of Cooking: Ham Sandos

First Sandwich: Ham with Swiss cheese and Chow-Chow on Red Fife sourdough bread

Chow-chow (also known as Mustard Pickle)

This Joy of Cooking original first appeared in the 1931 edition and I’m sorry, but I couldn’t make this recipe as instructed because I would have wound up with way too much! The Joy recipe makes 10 pints! I also didn’t want to can it. I just want to try it so I only made enough that would keep in the fridge until I used it up. I made other modifications, too, out of necessity. I used salad cucumbers because I couldn’t find pickling cucumbers in the store, and I used a small amount of regular yellow onion because I couldn’t find fresh pearl onions.  I had to use the greenest tomatoes I could find because I could not find flat out green tomatoes. Later on in this season I’ll have plenty but right now my tomato plants are still in their infancy. To reduce the volume, I used my “vast cooking experience” to figure out the proportions (ha ha) and it actually worked out pretty well. Chow chow tastes like Bread and Butter pickles (which I love).

This seems like a complicated recipe but it’s not. You prepare vegetables, a sauce and then you mix it all together. That’s really all there is to it. My version makes about 2 pints.

Cucumber Prep

Wash 2 thin unpeeled salad cucumbers well and remove a thin slice from each end then slice crosswise ¼ inch thick. (I scored them with a fork and then sliced them with a mandolin. I was hoping that the scoring would make the skin less tough, and it does)

Stir together 2 cups cold water and 2 T pickling salt until the salt is dissolved.

Pour the salty water over the cucumbers in a large bowl. Place something on the cucumbers to keep them submerged and refrigerate for a few hours.


For the sauce, combine and stir until the sugar is dissolved:

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

Whisk together in a medium bowl until smooth:

1 T all-purpose flour

1 T dry mustard

1 heaping t turmeric

1 heaping t celery seed

Slowly whisk about a 1/2 C vinegar/sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Bring the remaining vinegar/sugar mixture to a simmer in a large saucepan over low heat. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture. Do this a little at a time. I dipped my whisk into the flour/vinegar/sugar mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and simmering. Don’t let it get too thick. Hold off before it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat, cover and reserve.

Remaining Vegetable Prep

Core or trim and dice:

1 firm green tomato (I couldn’t find green so I used the greenest tomato in the store.)

1 green bell pepper

You should have about a cup or so. Combine the tomatoes and bell pepper in a large saucepan with:

½ cup cauliflower cut into bite size pieces.

Blanch all of this for 1 minute in boiling water, peel, and then add to the vegetables:

¼ c pearl onions (If you can’t find pearl onions used about a T of regular yellow onion.

Drain the vegetables and then the cucumber thoroughly. Add the cucumbers to the vegetables and stir together well.


Stir the mustard sauce into the hot vegetables. Season with pickling salt to taste if it needs it.

Cool the mixture, pack into a jar, and refrigerate.

Second Sandwich: Ham with Cream Cheese and Apple Chutney on Red Fife sourdough bread

This apple chutney is so good I’ve been adding it to my curried cauliflower dinner or my sauteed kale dinner.

Apple Chutney

Wash the fruit (and peppers, if using).

Combine in a large saucepan:

1 peeled lemon, seeded and chopped.

1 garlic clove, chopped.

5 cups chopped peeled firm apples.

2-1/4 c packed brown sugar.

1-1/2 c raisins

¼ c chopped peeled fresh ginger

1-1/2 t canning salt

¼ t ground red pepper

2 c cider vinegar

(2 red bell peppers, chopped)

Simmer, stirring frequently for at least 2 hours or until sauce has thickened. Pack the hot chutney into hot pint jars leaving 1/ inch headspace. Process for 15 minutes. (or refrigerate and eat it up within a week of two. It goes well on just about anything!)

Next week: I’m making sourdough bread with Khorasan wheat flour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s