A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

North Carolina Watermelon Rind Pickles Pepper Relish Easy Pickled Green Beans Canned Spiced Peaches Apple Butter Refrigerator Pickles Chowchow Sweet & Sour Corn Relish North Carolina Watermelon Rind Pickles From

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

North Carolina Watermelon Rind Pickles Pepper Relish Easy Pickled Green Beans Canned Spiced Peaches Apple Butter Refrigerator Pickles Chowchow Sweet & Sour Corn Relish North Carolina Watermelon Rind Pickles From

8 Home Canning Recipes from the Our State Archives

North Carolina Watermelon Rind Pickles

From the July 7, 1951, issue of The State
Recipe by Mrs. Curtis Wrike

5 pounds watermelon rind (about equal to the rind of one average-size melon)
5 pounds sugar
½ gallon vinegar
Spices to taste (cloves, all-spice, cinnamon, etc.)

Peel rind and cut into desired shapes. Soak overnight in water which has 1 bottle of Lily’s Slaked Lime dissolved in it. The next morning, wash rind in cold water and boil 5 minutes in fresh water. Pour off and repeat this same process twice. Drain well and boil in syrup made of the sugar, vinegar, and spices until rind is translucent. Pack in jars, pour over the syrup, and seal.

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Pepper Relish

From the September 1975 issue of The State
Recipe by Mrs. John M. Cannon
Yield: 12 pints.

16 red peppers, ripe and sweet
8 green peppers
12 onions
2 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons salt

Remove seeds from peppers. Grind with onions. Cover with boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. Drain. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt and boil 5 minutes. Pour into hot jars and seal.

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Easy Pickled Green Beans

From the August 1998 issue of The State
Recipe by Eleanor Hinton
Yield: 3 pints.

2 pounds green beans, strings removed
1 ¾ cups vinegar
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup sugar
4 teaspoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic
3 medium onions

If desired, cut beans into 2-inch pieces. Cook in salted water until tender. Combine vinegar with water, sugar, and salt in a large pot. Add mustard seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and garlic tied in cheesecloth bag. Add onions and beans to pot. Bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes, and remove spice bag.

Continue cooking while quickly packing one sterilized hot jar at a time. Fill to within ½ inch of top, making sure vinegar covers beans. Cap each jar at once. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

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Canned Spiced Peaches

From the July 12, 1958, issue of The State
Recipe by Carol Dare
Yield: 6 pints.

4 quarts small, firm peaches
5 cups brown sugar
2 cups vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons whole cloves

Cook sugar, vinegar, and spices for 20 minutes. Drop in whole peaches, a few at a time, and cook until tender. Pack into hot, sterilized jars, adding remaining syrup to within ½ inch of top, and seal.

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Apple Butter

From an Our State online exclusive in September 2014
Recipe by Steve Gordon

5 pounds apples
3 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
3 ½ cups white granulated sugar (adjust as needed according to instructions)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Wash the apples in cool water, and slice into quarters or smaller if using very large apples. Add water to a large sauce pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add apple cider vinegar and sliced apples. Cover pot, reduce heat, and let apples simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft. Firmer apples will need more cooking time. Stir apples as needed as they cook down.

Use a spoon to remove apples and place in a food mill or sieve. Force the pulp through the sieve and place in separate bowl. Measure the amount of puree you now have as you place it back into the sauce pot. Add ½ cup of sugar for each cup of apple puree, adjusting the amount as needed; starting with the brown sugar and then the white. Stir sugar until it dissolves.

Add cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Add the zest and juice from one lemon. Add vanilla extract. Add pinch of salt. Stir well.

Place sauce pot over very low heat and let simmer for about 6 hours, stirring as needed to keep from burning. Mixture will thicken over time and splatter if not watched carefully. As it thickens, place a spoonful on a saucer that has been kept in the freezer. Swipe your finger through the butter to see if it will leave a trail or if it runs back together. When done, ladle into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, clean rim, apply lid, apply band, tighten finger tight. Process 10 minutes using the water bath method.

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Refrigerator Pickles

From the May 2019 issue of Our State
Recipe by Lynn Wells
Yield: 4 pints.

2 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced ¼-inch thick
2 sweet white onions, thinly sliced
4 cups distilled white vinegar
4 cups sugar
½ cup kosher salt
1½ teaspoons turmeric
1½ teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons dry mustard

Toss sliced cucumbers and onions in a bowl, then add the mixture to 4 pint jars, filling each to the top.

In a saucepan, heat vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric, celery seed, and dry mustard until sugar is dissolved. Pour liquid over cucumbers to cover. Place lid on jars and tighten. Wipe jars with a clean, warm cloth, then refrigerate overnight.

Serve cold. Keep all opened pickles in the refrigerator. Reserve leftover liquid for salad dressing or coleslaw.

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From the September 2013 issue of Our State
Community Cookbook Series
Yield: 10 to 12 pints.

1 small cabbage, chopped
1 peck (8 quarts) green tomatoes, chopped
8 large onions, chopped
10 green peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons salt
1 quart apple cider vinegar
Pickling spices (tied in a cloth)
(May add 3 hot peppers)
1¾ cup sugar

Combine cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers in a large bowl; cover with salt and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain vegetables and add vinegar, sugar, and spices to taste. Transfer vegetables to a large saucepan and boil slowly until tender (about 15 minutes). Seal in hot, sterilized jars.

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Sweet & Sour Corn Relish

From the August 2021 issue of Our State
Recipe by Lynn Wells
Yield: Approximately 8 pints.

10 ears sweet yellow corn, shucked
1 large red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons pickling spice

Using a sharp knife, slice kernels off the cob and into a large stockpot. Combine all of the other ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Ladle the relish into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe rims and seal with lids. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Store in a dark, cool place. Will keep for 1 year. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 months.


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This story was published on Aug 31, 2021

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.