Winning Recipes from our Fall Picnic

Anna Stebbins' salsa was the top choice at our picnic tasting competition. Here's her winning recipe:

1 lb peeled, chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1- 1/2lbs fresh Anaheim chiles, seeded and chopped
5 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white vinegar (5% strength)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)In large pot combine all ingredients except cilantro and heat to simmering. Simmer 10 min, then stir in cilantro if using.
Pack mixture into hot sterilized pint or half pint canning jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Adjust lids and bands to seal and process in boiling water bath, covering tops of jars 1-2" with water. Process 30 minutes at our altitude. Yield: 6-8 pints Refrigerate after opening.

Chris Scott's Raspberry Jalapeño Jam recipe:

(Adapted from Food & Family)
Makes 8-10 (6 oz.) jars of jam
Note: This jam isn’t overly spicy. It tastes like a classic raspberry jam, with a punch of heat at the end.

8 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
3 jalapeno peppers
4 cups sugar
The juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons pectin (I use Pomona’s Universal Pectin as it’s great for low-sugar recipes such as this.)

Fill a large stockpot or canning pot with water, and bring to a boil. (Fill it just enough to cover your jam jars, about 1/2 to 3/4 full.) Wash and rinse your jars, lids, and rings and then place in the pot of boiling batter. Turn heat off, cover and let stand in water until ready to use.

Mince the jalapenos. Depending on how spicy you want the jam, you can choose to remove or include the seeds (the more seeds, the spicier the jam).
Place the berries in a large pot, and gently mash them with the back of a spoon. Pour in the sugar, lemon juice, and jalapenos and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Stir continuously. Once the fruit comes to a boil, pour in the pectin and continue stirring over high heat for 4 minutes.

Remove mixture from the heat, and skim off any foam. Remove your jars from the hot water bath and place on a clean dish towel (be sure to drain any water from inside the jars). Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace. Make sure jar lids are dry. Place the lids on each jar, and screw jar rings onto each jar.
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel. Allow to cool completely. When cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger, if lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and the jam must be refrigerated.

Debra Othitis' Strawberry Margarita Jam


3 cups crushed strawberries (about 6 cups whole berries)
2/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
6 cups sugar
1/2 of a 6-ounce package (1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel


In an 8- to 10-quart heavy pot combine strawberries, lime juice, tequila, and Triple Sec. Stir in sugar. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin and lime peel. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. (It is normal for fruit to float to the top as jam cools.) Makes 7 half-pints.Description

Colette Larimer's Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos)

These little beauties are so addictive: sweet, spicy, and tangy. Once you start eating these, you’ll find all sorts of places to stash them—sandwiches, potato salad, grilled meat, and pasta, just to name a few.


3 pounds Firm, Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, Washed
2 cups Cider Vinegar
6 cups White Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoons Turmeric
½ teaspoons Celery Seed
3 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
1 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.

Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.

If you do not want to can these to the point of shelf stable, you can simply put the jars in your refrigerator and store them there. I prefer to keep the fridge space free so I can them. If you wish to can them, follow the instructions below.

Note: If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or … in short, don’t toss it out!

To can, place jars in a canner and cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth, then label.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!