Jalapeño and Green Pepper Jam

A story about a beach in Maine, a pseudo spy, beer, and jalapeño and green pepper jam

jalapeno and green pepper jam

Other than the attaché handcuffed to his wrist he looked like any other vacationing camper. Joe Spy, that’s the nickname we gave him that summer in Maine at Hermit Island Campground.

We were staying at Western Reach 13, our favorite site, and for supplies we would wander down to the Kelp Shed. To get to the Kelp Shed we had to pass by the beach camp sites and that’s were we first encountered Joe Spy. Every time we saw him he had an attaché case handcuffed to his wrist.

Joe Spy didn’t go swimming or to the beach, in fact, he never left the campsite. We knew this because we could see his campsite from ours on top of the hill. If we said hello he would look up, gaze at us, and continue on with whatever he was involved in doing. Attaché still attached.

This made him all the more intriguing. It became our mission to find out more.

Surprisingly we were aided in this adventure by beer. Who can resist a cold beer on a hot summer day at the beach? It took two three offerings but he relented. Finally he and his wife invited us down to the campfire one night and of course we brought beer to help find out what was so special in the attaché. State secrets be damned, beer was the chink in his armor.

After sufficient lubrication we asked him about the attaché and cuffs and he told us he worked for a security firm selling surveillance equipment and that is all he could tell us. His wife came to his rescue by offering us Jalapeño and green pepper jam with cream cheese and trisket crackers. It was all we needed to throw us off Joe’s trail. We lost interest in the attaché and gained interest in the recipe for the pepper jam. Mrs. Spy was as tight lipped as her husband and we never got the recipe.

It was my sister who finally found a recipe for jalapeño and green pepper jam and every few years we make several batches. This year I wanted to make a low sugar version so I turned to Pomona’s Pectin for help. Pomona’s has no recipe but they do have a chart with some pointers on how to develop your own jam recipes. This, along with the recipe I adapted from Ball, is all I needed. Here’s the recipe…no attaché needed.


Jalapeño and Red Pepper Jam


  • 4 cups green peppers , finely chopped
  • ½ cup jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons calcium water
  • 3 tablespoons Pomona’s Pectin powder
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cup honey


  1. Prepare your hot water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Put lids in a sauce pan of hot water and set aside.
  2. Chop the peppers in a food processor until finely chopped. Add to sauce pan with the vinegar and calcium water. Bring to a hard boil stirring often until the boil won’t go down.
  3. Combine the pectin powder with sugar. When the pepper mix is at a rolling boil add the sugar stirring well until it comes to a boil, then add the honey.
  4. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Leaving ¼ headspace ladle the jelly into 8 ounce jars, wipe the rim, and seal finger tight.
  6. Process in a hot water bath canner for 12 minutes adding one minute per 1000 feet of altitude. Remove and let cool until lids make popping sound.
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  • reply Your sister-in-law Pat ,

    Hi David! Your Jalapeno and Green Pepper Jam (!) looks pretty good! And the story about ‘Maine Joe Spy’ is hilarious. I wonder whatever became of him and Mrs Spy??

    BTW: ‘The Blair Possum Project’ video is a SCREAM. That darned critter wasn’t ready to let go of the crate!!

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