Cranberry Jelly

cranberrySo everybody makes cranberry relish. There are tons of recipes and I’ve made my share. I do like the stuff perfectly well.

But, and I hate to admit it, I actually like the jellied version maybe even more.

So you say, hey, I can’t put a bunch of slices from a can, WITH THE TIN CAN RINGS VISIBLE, on my holiday table. And indeed I agree. You should not.

But you can make your own. It’s incredibly easy and takes very little time. And it’s less sweet, and you can put your own flavorings like orange in it, or maybe even a jalapeño!

I will be making this from now on. I just love it.


  • 4 (12 ounce) bags fresh cranberries
  • 4 cups sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • The juice of one orange plus enough water to equal 4 cups
  • The zest of 1 orange


  1. Combine the sugar, orange juice, and water in big stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently for 10 minutes while the cranberries pop open.
  2. Pour into a fine-mesh sieve over a heat-proof bowl until all that remains is a paste of little twiggy bits and seeds from the cranberries and orange zest. Pour into sterile canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the rims, place new lids on the jars, and screw the rings into place until finger-tip tight.
  3. Store in the refrigerator OR place the jars filled with hot cranberry sauce in a canner and cover with hot water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes, whether in a pint, pint and a half, or quart sized jar. Turn off the heat, remove the lid from the canner and let the jars remain in the water for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack or towel to cool overnight, undisturbed. Wipe the jars down, label them, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

SERVES: 5 jelly jars for 1/2 of this recipe (If you are having a lot of people for the holiday meal, I’d forgo the canning entirely, since you will eat most of it.

NOTES: This makes a wonderful little gift to guests at Christmas. Just make sure you label the jars, put a nice little raffia bow around and make sure to tell them to store in the fridge if not canned. Also makes a nice gift to the hostess when you are visiting!

SOURCE: Foodiewithfamily


Apple-Pumpkin Bliss Butter

applepumpkinbutterFall brings apples and apples bring bliss.

I don’t know why I was feeling all homemakery but I was, so I thought I would really step out and try something new.

Glad I did, for this was utterly grand.

I’ve never been an apple butter person (not the commercial type at least) and didn’t figure that homemade would be THAT much different, but oh Lordy was I wrong.

I think you could probably leave out the pumpkin and this would still be just fine.


  • 8-12 apples (8 if large, 12 if medium-sized) of your choice
  • 1/4 c apple juice
  • 1 c + 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
  • juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt


  2. Day One:  Put peeled, cored, diced apples in a crock pot with the apple juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp of the cinnamon. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Let the mixture cool. If your crock pot allows, place the dish in the fridge until tomorrow.
  4. Day Two: Puree your apples from the day before in your food processor until fairly smooth (this is up to you how smooth) Then place back in the crock pot and add the balance of sugar, the pumpkin, and spices, lemon juice and salt. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until it has reduced by about a 1/4. Taste and add more sugar if you wish.
  5. Cool and place in sterilized jars. Cap and let sit until cooled then place in the freezer for up to six months or the fridge for a couple of weeks.

SERVES: 5 pints

NOTES: If you wish to omit the pumpkin, then I would omit the ginger and nutmeg as well.

SOURCE: Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks

Sweet Jesus Chile Pepper Jam

chilepepperI have looked for this stuff for years! Back a few decades I came across some sweet but hot chile pepper jam in a store. I fell in love.

They stopped carrying it, and I was never the same. Well, almost not.

Enter Rufus and his recipe.

I have returned to heaven.

This is better than the other stuff. This is as hot as you like, or as mild as you like. It is simply the gift of the gods.

it goes with anything you can imagine–hotdogs, grilled chicken or pork. on sandwiches. Heck it probably works on ice cream.

Go to Rufus’ food blog. I’ve never met a recipe that didn’t come out perfectly. Still come here of course, because I love to bring good recipes to a palate near you.


  • 6 c finely chopped chile peppers (put together your blend of heat. I made a half recipe of 3 cups with 2 lg hatch chiles, five jalapeños (4 red), one Serrano. That gave me a healthy 3 cups which made one filled-to-the-brim pint with a couple of tablespoons leftover for dinner that night.
  • 3 red bell peppers similarly chopped
  • 4 c sugar
  • 1 c white vinegar
  • 1  1/4 c cider vinegar


  1. Use a food processor if you have one. This will go much faster.
  2. Place all in a large saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Boil 30 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Ladle into sterilized jars, cap and screw top
  5. Cool on the counter.
  6. Store.
  7. Any jars that don’t ping, place in fridge until consumed.

SERVES: 2 pints

NOTES: I made a half recipe and next time will make a full one. I cooked mine a bit, since it thickens up more when cooled (mine was kinda sticky but the taste is still fine). The heat is up to you. You can go from poblanos to Habanero and all in between. That’s why I just made one jar–to test my heat level.

SOURCE: Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide


BlueBerry Freezer Jam

blueberry freezerI made up a few jars of blueberry jam a few weeks ago when the main crop of blueberries hit the stores and prices dropped. If you have purchased store-bought blueberry jam, you know you pay premium prices, so it just makes sense to make your own.

Freezer jam is the easiest and preserves the fruit in the most natural way. It really does taste like fresh blueberries since you don’t cook the berries. It is even better for strawberries and since you can get those year round, there is really no excuse to not make them.




  • 4 cups  blueberries crushed with a potato masher to 2 1/2 cups
  • 3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 pkg pectin


  1. Mix the blueberries, sugar, zest together. Stir, and let sit 20 minutes until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  2. Put the pectin and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
  3. Boil for 1 minute.
  4. Pour over the blueberries and stir in, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  5. Place in sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Cap and place screw tops on loosely.
  6. Cool on the counter and then place in freezer.
  7. Once in the fridge, use within three weeks.

SERVES: I got 10 jam jars from this recipe

NOTES: the orange zest is optional.

Source: Betty