Nan’s Chili Sauce from Mrs. V’s Preserves
Barb Vivian’s jams, jellies and sauces are a staple at local farmers’ markets. This mild chili sauce is named for her mother-in-law.
Some 15 years ago, Barb Vivian – Mrs. V – decided on a whim to sell her homemade strawberry jam at the Brampton Farmers’ Market. She had volunteered to help at a booth selling a fundraising cookbook. When she brought in the jam, she was surprised at how quickly it sold. She made more for the next week … and the next … and that opened the floodgates. Since then, she has expanded both her repertoire and her output. One year Barb overshot her goal of 10,000 jars and made 14,000, which she offered at local stores and markets. Her pace has slowed down somewhat from that peak.
Barb’s products are made with Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables and often named after the people who inspired or contributed the recipe. Offerings include Lumpy’s Pickled Beets, Ollie’s Dills and Nan’s Chili Sauce. Nan, in this case, was Barb’s husband’s grandmother. “The kids actually called her Gaggy,” said Barb with a laugh, “but I didn’t think that was a suitable label for something to eat.”
Mrs. V’s Preserves are available at retailers from Brampton to Orangeville. Check mrsvspreserves.com for an up-to-date product list.
Nan’s Chili Sauce
- 18 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped*
- 6 cups celery, chopped*
- 4 cups onions, chopped*
- ½ cup pickling salt
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 5 cups white sugar
- 2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
- 30 g mustard seed
- * Chop by hand for a nice chunky texture
- Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl, add the salt and let stand overnight.
- Drain well and discard liquid.
- Place in a large pot and add the salt, vinegar, sugar and green peppers, along with the mustard seed in a mesh bag.
- Simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how thick you like it.
- Remove the bag of mustard seeds and discard.
- Pour into clean, hot, sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath.
Many of Connie Arteaga’s long list of handmade preserves – think passata or eggplant antipasto – have their roots in her native Sicily.