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Cha Cha Pickle Recipe

Looking for something to do with unripe veggies at the end of the season? Try our Cha Cha Pickle Relish Recipe.

Miss Jarahnia’s Cha Cha Pickle Relish (circa 1932)

Some of you may be wondering what to do with green tomatoes and other veggies at the end of the season. Instead of letting them rot or turning them into plant food, try this. 

During the Great Depression, people conserved resources and that included food. Families with gardens became very creative. When the season ended and fall frosts were looming, they would pick the unripe tomatoes, peppers, uncured onions and fall cabbage to make Cha Cha Pickle Relish. This sweet, yet tangy, concoction is delicious as a side dish, as a topping on hamburgers or hot dogs, or served with fish dinners. It keeps in the refrigerator for months, and is well worth the making!


  • 1 qt. green tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. pickling spices
  • 2 sweet peppers
  • 2 large mild onions, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • ½ cup salt
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. celery seed


Chop the vegetables finely. Add the salt, creating a brine. Marinade in the salt brine overnight.

Put the vegetables in a cheese cloth bag and let all of the liquid drain out. This takes about a day. Transfer the vegetables to a large pot. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, pickling spices, turmeric and celery seed and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until done. This takes about two hours. Stir frequently. Pour the relish into hot, sterilized pint jars. Enjoy!

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Green tomatoes