ELLSWORTH — Beth Hardison, who owns Annie’s Pride Farm & General Store with her husband, Mark, is canning sauces, including hot sauce, enchilada sauce and soon to come, a spicy mixed berry, for your home table.
While the store is closed until April, the sauces are available at some area stores. They are packed with flavor. All are made with fruits, vegetables and herbs grown on the North Ellsworth farm that Hardison’s grandparents once operated.
“I think that’s the secret to most sauces, if you can grow your own herbs and process them,” Hardison said.
Patrons of Hardison’s lunch counter at the store will remember the enchilada sauce, which she serves on burritos.
She had served small plastic containers of the sauces at the general store and decided to market them at the urging of a customer.
“I love to can,” said Hardison. “That’s always been my thing.”
And can she does.
Hardison has a storage/display case, which Mark built for her, in the dining room of their farmhouse.
Glass bottles of everything from homemade grape juice for the couple’s seven grandchildren to jars of vegetables and sliced potatoes, which is a breakfast favorite among their children, line the shelves.
And there are glass jars of apple syrup and raspberry syrup.
“I use that (apple syrup) if I’m marinating chicken to put on the grill,” Hardison said. She doesn’t add sugar to the apples. “It’s not a real sweet sauce. It thins out beautifully when you heat it.”
Hardison says the raspberry syrup pairs beautifully with cheesecake or homemade ice cream.
But, getting back to what’s available for public purchase —the hot sauce has pickled jalapeño peppers (not from the farm,) salt, pepper, vinegar and spices and oil. Hardison suggests putting a teaspoon in a marinade.
“It will soup up the flavor,” she said.
The enchilada sauce has tomatoes, vinegar, spices, chili, garlic, jalapeño and oil.
The hot sauce and enchilada sauce retail for $9.99 each and measure about two cups.
The spicy mixed berry sauce, which will be on store shelves soon for $6.99, is a jar of dark blue deliciousness with a blend of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and roasted jalapeño.
The berry sauce Hardison likes because she could use up all the berries left in the freezer from the garden.
Hardison suggests painting the top of a pork roast or ham with it.
“I always was intrigued by sweet sauces that you could put on for marinades,” said Hardison.
“Eventually, I am going to do spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce,” Hardison said.