In 1979, yes I remember the year that's how important the recipe was to me, my dear friend Holly Glenn gave me her chili sauce recipe. She called it Holly's Folly. We would all start calling Holly as soon as the tomatoes were ripe checking to see if she had made her fabulous Holly's Folly yet. We would all be allowed one jar per year. Every year for as long as she could remember she and her mother spent one day each summer making their chili sauce. She would never give up the recipe until I moved to Florida in the fall of 1979.
I kept the recipe as secret as the KFC seasoning recipe. Each year for almost 20 years I would make a batch or two and feel so proud each time I served it and people loved it. During the move back to Kentucky about 9 years ago I LOST the recipe. Why did I have only one copy of my favorite recipe! I was devastated. I searched and looked and called everyone I knew. No luck. No Holly's Folly for 9 years.
Sometimes I think it's true that my best friends live in my computer. One day I was chatting with Laurie at How My Time Flys and she said she and her family had made something like I was describing for almost 80 years. Could this possibly be the answer to my prayers. After all I had been asking St. Anthony for 9 years to help me find the recipe. Laurie sent me the recipe and I couldn't wait to make it. I can not thank you enough my friend. I am a happy person.
This was it! It might not be Holly's recipe but it was just the way I remember it. The smell of it cooking brought tears to me eyes. As Laurie said, her family used this as a guide, it wasn't gospel. I personally wouldn't change one thing. I'm starting my second batch today.
There is no danger of me losing the recipe again. I have 15 copies in various locations around the house plus the car.
My Holly's Folly - A Tomato Chili Sauce
7 pints about
6 quarts peeled and sliced tomatoes
3 large onions, minced
1/2 cup coarse pickling salt
3 cups diced celery
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1/3 cup whole pickling spice (tied in cheesecloth)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups brown sugar, yes, 4 cups
1. Slice peeled tomatoes into a very large bowl, add minced onions and salt and stir gently. Hands work well.
2. Cover bowl and let stand for a minimum of 8 hours,; overnight is best.
3. Drain thoroughly and place in a large, heavy saucepan with a lid.
4. Stir in diced celery, red peppers, pickling spice bundle, red pepper flakes and vinegar, then cover, over medium heat, bring to a boil.
5. Once boiling, uncover and simmer over low heat until thickened, at least two hour; stir often to prevent sticking.
6. Add brown sugar and stir well; taste for sweetness (if tomatoes are very tart or acidic, you may need a little more brown sugar).
7. Simmer mixture until thickened again, about 25-30 minutes.
8. Remove spice bundle and discard.
9. Ladle mixture into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace, seal jars.
10. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.