Ann Stanger’s Chili Sauce

One of my mom’s dearest friends is the sweet Ann Stanger.  Growing up in Northern California in the 1960’s and 1970’s, these two mom’s canned everything.  They would drag us younger kids to the farms, orchards and fruit stands.  Jeff and Heidi are Ann’s youngest and my little brother Michael and I are my mom’s youngest two.  I remember the house being so hot and standing in front of the swamp cooler to cool down. This was part of every summer growing up and I loved the fun times we shared.  Now I have my own garden and I can everything just like them.   My mom always says that Ann’s Chili Sauce is the best.  She is right!

Ann’s Chili Sauce

12 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cored

2 large onions, peeled

4 green bell peppers, remove seeds

2 tablespoons salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 1/2 cups vinegar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4-5 pint size canning jars


Choose fresh, ripe tomatoes. Wash tomatoes. Bring water to a boil and dip tomatoes into boiling water bath for 3 minute. Skins will begin to break. Place tomatoes in an ice bath.  Peel and core tomatoes.  Coarsely chop tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot and slowly cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Once the sauce has reduced in amount and thickened, pour into sterilized canning jars. Clean rim of each jar with a clean cloth wet with hot water. Adjust sterile lids with rings fingertip tight and process for 15 minuted in boiling water bath.  Remember to adjust time for your altitude.

For canning instructions, I always refer to this website


Picked some fresh tomatoes with a little help from Wally

Wash tomatoes

Place tomatoes in boiling water for three minutes

Place in an ice bath

Peel, core and coarsely chop tomatoes

Remove seeds from bell peppers and chop

Peel and chop onions

Mix all ingredients in a large stockpot to cook

Stir frequently until reduced and thickened.  This takes awhile.  I doubled the recipe and it took 3 hours.  I called my mom after two hours and she said, turn up the heat a little.

Pour into sterilized jars. I sterilize my jars on the “sanitize” cycle in my dishwasher.

It is very important to clean the rim of each jar.

Boil lids for several minutes before placing on jars

Adjust caps fingertip tight

You are ready to can in a water bath. Remember to cover jars with water and boil for 15 minutes in proper canning equipment. Additional time is needed for altitudes greater than 1,000 feet. Add 1 minute for every 1,ooo feet greater than 1,ooo feet.

This chili sauce is great on hamburgers and here are some ways we have recently enjoyed it.

I topped my meatloaf with the chili sauce instead of ketchup

It was excellent

Have it with cream cheese or sour cream served with chips or crackers

It’s great with eggs


Mark and Ann Stanger in front of their home.

One of my favorite places

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