Last summer my sister brought an improvised little sandwich bite down to me on the beach. She had deftly balanced a piece of my father-in-law’s leftover smoked pork loin with some of my mother-in-law, Peggy’s homemade pickles and bbq sauce. It was heavenly! I am determined to sometime soon replicate that moment and the sauce was fabulous.

So when I decided I wanted something to give guests as a gift at a pig roast we’re planning for September, I knew the bbq sauce, a recipe from Brian’s Aunt Skipper, would be perfect. Thus began my first foray into canning, where Peggy and I set out to make several large batches of this family recipe and get it into 50 nicely sealed Ball jars. It all started with a well loved recipe card and a sharp pencil to sort out how much to make.

And then some nice clean jars…






two pots of sauce going with jar lid inserts steaming in hot water in the smaller pot in the back…

sticky stuff…

and then jars full of deeelicious homemade barbecue sauce. It’s so easy and so good. I had some on my tofu pup for lunch today.

Aunt Skipper's Peppy Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp celery seed
3 tsp chili powder
cayenne pepper to taste


- combine everything in a sauce pan over medium high heat stirring frequently to keep from sticking to the bottom
- bring to a boil and remove from heat

If you want to jar it, you'll want a jar with the lid insert and screw top lid, as well as a funnel. Heat a little water to boil with the lid insert and then turn down to a simmer. Once your sauce boils use the funnel to pour it into the jar, place the lid insert on top and then screw on the rest of the lid. In about 30 - 40 minutes you should hear the lid seal itself as the sauce cools in the jar. It's a very satisfying, tinny little pop.