Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, a family tradition

Would you believe me if I told you this jelly is made out of alligator tails? No? Good, because it isn't. But wouldn't that be cool?!

The story to Anitra's Jalapeno Jelly starts along the shores of Green Lake in the little town of Spicer, Minn. at my great-aunt Anitra's home. The very lake where my family used to gather from all corners of the country to share in some inner-tube floating, off-the-dock jumping, long games of dominos, and some great hors d'oevres (or "horsey douvers" as we liked to call them).

Since moving to Minnesota (I'm originally from New Jersey) I've had many more opportunities to sit lakeside, and family gatherings have shifted to the colder month of November where we've bundled up to play ladder golf after another Turkey dinner.

Some crazies (ahem, Kirsten ...) still can't resist a dip in Green Lake.

Although we've all gotten older and our days together now come in bursts and spurts instead of endless summer days, we still carry on the hors d'oeuvre tradition.

Anitra's Jalapeno Jelly is one of my all-time favorites. It's surprisingly simple to make, and once you have some cans stocked up, all you need is a little cream cheese, some simple Ritz crackers (and maybe a Corona), and you are set.

Don't be fooled by the scary green color ... no it doesn't have any ingredients found in Green Lake, as the title below suggests.

Be prepared for a little tang on the tip of your tongue, but paired with the cream cheese, I wouldn't even call it spicy. The 5 cups of sugar (yea, you heard me right!) really tone down the jalapenos.

Anitra's Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
Makes 5-7 1/2 pint jars


1 1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tab lemon juice
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed!)
5 cups sugar
1 6oz package Certo (liquid pectin) - for me this was both bags in the box


Combine first four ingredients in blender or food processor. Pour into large pan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and simmer 10 min. Turn off heat. Stir in Certo (it will begin to thicken quickly). Pour into jars (we used a funnel to help control the mess, but once it started getting thick I don't know if a funnel was necessary).

Enjoy with Ritz Crackers and cream cheese.

Now go grab some crackers and a good friend (or your entire extended family) and enjoy!

Thanks Anitra for the jalapeno pepper jelly, the french toast, the dominos, and all the good times! See you soon!


  1. I'll have to make a batch for the holidays! Thanks for posting Carolyn....and a great photo of Anita. I think Dad (John) took it at one of our many gatherings.

  2. Yup, I should've given him credit in the post. Dad took it at Tday 2009 I think. We were playing that Cranium game where everyone was confused, haha.

  3. Or maybe it was the game where you have to say zip zip bong (or something) without showing your teeth or laughing. Haha...


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