I grew up in a small, rural, town in western Kansas. As I was growing up I helped in the garden and watched my grandma can lots of fruits and vegetables. The canning part always stuck with me. As I grew older, graduated, then moved away to college, and I settled down with a house and garden of my own; I began experimenting with my own canning after my mom gave me a bunch of canning equipment. I started growing tomatoes and peppers to make endless amounts of salsa. I always loved the Sandhill Plum Jelly grandma made, so I began making jelly, too. After several years I started branching out with my recipes. No one around makes a jalapeno pepper jelly and my friends all seemed to love my salsa. After a few years of working for a friend with a peach stand every summer, she challenged me to come up with a peach salsa recipe. A few years later I developed a winner.
Moving a few years forward, in one of my cooking magazines I read about the pepper jellies that people bought at Christmas to pour over cream cheese and put on crackers. I thought to myself “I can do that.” I started with peaches because I could get the good Palisade Colorado Peaches every summer and tweaked the recipe until I came up with a winner. Since then I have streamlined the “all day” process that grandma used, to being able to whip out a batch of jelly in 30 minutes. I have expanded to five different pepper jellies and two salsas, to cover a large flavor range. My recipes have been sent to the Kansas Department of Agriculture and have been tested and approved for marketing.
Then, as if I wasn’t busy enough, I decided to get a puppy. A cute little puppy that would grow into a very LARGE, 150 to 200 lb fuzzy, black, long hair, puppy. When trying to think of a name for a business my mom came up with ‘Black Dog Salsa’, and that is how ‘Black Dog Salsa & Pepper Jelly’ was born.