Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's All About the Chili Sauce

I was in the kitchen and it was all about the chili sauce.

For the first time in years I was going to use homemade chili sauce for the first pot of chili of the season, not the bottle of chili sauce found on a grocery store shelf loaded with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).

The onions and garlic had been sautéed and were in the soup pot, and ground round was browning in the iron skillet. I added the can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes to the onions and garlic and let them cook 5 minutes.

Then it was time to open the homemade chili sauce--oh, did you think that I had made it? No, but it was Gram's Chili Sauce from Murphy Orchards; they made it. It was a fairly reasonable cost, even though it cost more to ship than the cost of the products themselves.

Would it be worth it?

Dear Lord, thank you, thank you!

What a heavenly scent!

I was transported back to the early 1970s when I used to pickle, preserve, and can. When I made my own chili sauce. And even further back to the years Mama made chili sauce from bushel baskets of ripe tomatoes Daddy bought home.

I poured the chili sauce into the pot, wishing I could have just eaten it with a spoon.

Heavens to Betsy, that was the best chili I've had in years and R.H. agreed.

I have 5 more jars of Murphy Orchard's Gram's Chili Sauce put away for 5 more pots of winter chili. (Along with some jars of what look to be delicious jams, but I'm saving them for homemade bread and will let you know how they are.)

Just in case a grandson or granddaughter someday decides to make their own chili sauce, here is the recipe I used to make, long before Mr. Arthuritis and Mrs. Very Close Veins appeared.

You don't know Mrs. Very Close Veins? I loved reading about the Italian restaurateur in Helen Macinnes' Friends and Lovers who was in the habit of waving customers to the second floor of the restaurant instead of personally accompanying them because he had "very close veins."

Old Hundred Chili Sauce (4-5 qts.)

1 peck ripe tomatoes
2 green peppers
2 hot red peppers
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
10 medium size onions
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons salt
6 cups vinegar

Scald, peel, and chop tomatoes. Grind onions and peppers very fine. 
Mix dry ingredients together and gradually add vinegar to prevent lumping.
Add to tomato mixture and boil very slowly from 1 1/2 to 2 hours until thick.
Seal in scaled hot jars.

So pass it on, family. I have several grandsons who are good cooks, and a granddaughter who loves helping in the kitchen. Maybe they'll be the ones to bring back homemade chili sauce in the family chili.

I had a little help myself in the kitchen. Hallmark Channel was playing its first back to back Christmas movies of the season.

Between spices in the air and a good Hallmark movie I am definitely in the holiday mood now.

Here's a link to the fabulous Murphy Orchards products in upstate New York.

Because it's all about the chili sauce.

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