My mother use to sing to me “We don’t know who your mother is but you are your father’s child”

The song was a turn of the 1900s song that orignally went "We don't know who your father is but you are your Mother's son" My mother always said there was no doubt who my father was but she wasn't too sure she was my mother.

My father's idea of hot sauce was to take his Japapeno Peppers, with stem and seeds, place them in a blender, add a little water and puree. Jalapeno hot sauce worthy to " kill anything that ails you and any worms you got." My mother needless to say didn't share his humor or his love of hot peppers.

I am his child. Hot is good, Hotter is better. The poor woman told me one time "I divorced the man 38 years ago and had to live with him ever since." I am my father. My dishes are not overly hot most of the time. I take pity on those of tender tongues.

I had never tried Jalapeno Jelly until our local food salvage place purchased overstock of a more exotic flavor. I stocked up on Ragin' Red Jalapeno Jelly by Oasis. I also salvaged quite a few other items for myself. When I googled it I got this: A double kick of late-harvest jalapenos – mix with cream cheese for a super cracker spread. First Place Winner at the Texas Fiery Foods competition.

Crackers are not that popular in this house so I started to look for ways to use it.

I had made some of the 'salvage' meatless chili. Good in it's own right but not quite spicy enough for a diehard chili maker. I doctored the chili but it still was missing something. When I opened the Jelly cupboard's top doors, there sat the jar of Ragin' Red. I added and was delighted to find it added a lovely sweet sour hot taste to the chili. Perfect. I have used it in stuffed baked potato mixes and in soups. It isn't just for cream cheese. It adds a special hot sweet sour taste that compliments many dishes. It simply works.

If you aren't lucky enough to find your own salvage store, you can buy it from the link or you can make some of your own from the various recipes on the net. Here is one example.

Jalapeno Jelly
by Joyce Moseley Pierce

Need a quick treat for those upcoming holiday office gatherings? A few years ago I was introduced to the combination of Wheat Thins(TM), cream cheese and jalapeno jelly! Don't let the jalapeno scare you. There are two ways to combat the "fire" you feel on your tongue caused by these hot peppers, and that's with milk or bread. Whoever created this Southwest delicacy knew what they were doing. The cream cheese and cracker are there to calm the nerve endings in your tongue so you can enjoy the blend of flavors.

The kick in this jelly is a delicious way to open the eyes, as well as the taste buds, of your friends and co-workers. Just place a block of cream cheese on a festive holiday plate and pour the jelly over it. Put the crackers within reaching range, but not close enough that they get soggy from the jelly.

You can buy the crackers and cream cheese at any grocery store, but you may have to search specialty shops for the jelly. Sometimes you can find it at Cost Plus or Marshalls in their food section. However, if you really want to impress your friends, try making your own. If you've never handled raw jalapenos before, let me offer a word of warning. The skin of the pepper is safe to touch – it's the seeds that produce the burning sensation. Use plastic gloves if you're worried about handling them. If you choose to brave it without the gloves, keep your hands away from your eyes while working with the peppers – even the slightest bit on your fingers will send you screaming if you get it in your eyes.

Pepper Jelly
14 hot peppers (jalapeno)
4 sweet peppers (red)
3 cups white vinegar
10 cups sugar
2 pouches pectin
2 tsp red (or green) food coloring

Cut peppers. Discard seeds and stem. Grind peppers in blender with vinegar. Move this mixture to a large pan and place on your stove burner. Add sugar, bring to boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and skim. Add 2 pouches pectin and food coloring. Boil hard for one minute. Seal hot.

One year for Christmas I canned the jelly in half pint jars and gave them as gifts. I made a label with a jalapeno on the front and tied a holiday ribbon around the lid. You might also add a Southwest fabric to lay under the screw top lid. One friend was so excited she grabbed a spoon and ate it right out of the jar!

In addition to being great for dipping with crackers, it's great on toast or as a ham glaze. It adds a "kick" wherever it's used. You may even find yourself reaching for a spoon!

Copyright 2002 Joyce Moseley Pierce

Joyce is a freelance writer and owner of Emerson Publications. Her latest release is “24 Days of Christmas,” to help families center on the birth of Christ during the holiday season. She is also the creator of “All They’ll Need to Know,” a book that will be invaluable to your loved ones when you can’t be there to guide them. Visit for lots of good family-friendly information.



As part of the agreement to use I have included all the information which may not reflect the personal opinions or beliefs fo the owner of the blog.


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