Notes from The Farmer’s Daughter – Bountiful Harvest Stirs Up Memories

What does a cup or two of unsweetened apple sauce do if an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Because I have been eating my fair share of apple sauce and then some since our apple trees were loaded this year.

From what I hear from producers and from what I see from all the apple trees along the highways, it has been a good year for apples. With little spare time due to ongoing renovations, I have been struggling to put in the time needed to preserve all the fruits and vegetables I have a surplus of.

I have managed to get our freezers stocked with apple sauce, and I have ample jars of dehydrated mint to provide me with many hours of herbal tea enjoyment over breakfast during the winter months.

My garden produced much like it was on steroids this year, partly due to that wonderful wollastonite I used for fertilizer. My husband has helped me turn many of my tomatoes into salsa, and we even managed to make a bunch of chili sauce this year, a first in years. I love seeing the finished product all lined up on the shelves, and eating it is even better.

The other part of preserving that I find the most heart-warming is using recipes from family members or friends who are unfortunately no longer with us. I somehow feel connected to those whose recipes I use. Holding a paper, recipe card, or book, I know they took time to write on, with pen in hand, to ensure their recipe would be passed along to loved ones so their “special ingredients” or unique blend will never be forgotten affects me.

My Chili Recipe is one given to me by an aunt whom I didn’t see often, yet adored and admired, especially as a young child. I’m not sure if the writing is hers or my grandmother’s. It even has an error (ingredient duplication) that I must be mindful of when using it. Yet, I still feel a connection that crosses the boundaries of here and now, and my Aunt Nyla remains on my mind while I chop and stir the aromatic mixture of tomatoes, celery, peppers, onions and spices.

Interestingly, I feel a stronger desire now more than ever to hunt up more recipes from those I can no longer visit with or share in their company. I wonder if others feel the same as they create meals, jams, jellies and desserts from recipes and journals left behind.

When searching through some loose recipe pages of my grandmothers, who has also passed, I came across a relish recipe with the name Olga on it. Knowing who my grandmother spent time with, I do not doubt that this was from Olga Baker, who passed away this spring. I suspect this recipe is in my Grandmother’s handwriting; however, I thought I would share a picture of the recipe in case any of her relatives living close by in Forfar (who also happen to be related to me) see this and would like a copy.

I have also included a typed-out recipe of my Aunt Nyla’s Chili Sauce (see below) because it is a delicious addition to spice up a plain spiral pasta and ground beef dish.

A bountiful harvest fills the freezer, the panty, the plate, and the heart.

15 Minute Chili Sauce


6 qt basket tomatoes

2 green peppers

6 cups celery

4 cups onions

2 2/3 Tbsp mustard seed

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup pickling salt

5 cups granulated sugar

2 cups cider vinegar (note I use pickling vinegar)


Combine tomatoes, onions, celery & sprinkle with the pickling salt. Let stand overnight.

Drain well in the morning and discard the liquid.

Place mixture in a kettle. Add the sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, cayenne pepper and chopped green peppers.

Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil slowly uncovered for 15 minutes and put in jars.

(I process filled jars in boiling water for 10 minutes).


Share this article:
Previous Post: Notes from the Farmer’s Daughter – Morton, From A Paddlers View

July 25, 2023 - In Notes From The Farmer's Daughter

Next Post: Notes From the Farmer’s Daughter – A Place to Call Home

October 28, 2023 - In Local Books, Notes From The Farmer's Daughter

Related Posts