Grandmother Sophie’s Chili Sauce

My husbands Grandmother on his mother’s side was an incredible cook. She was a superwoman of the depression era. She canned everything herself, and when she cooked for gatherings she came with trays filled with fried chicken, polish sausage and sauerkraut, potato salad, and always made enough for an entire neighborhood. She worked at Marshall Fields downtown Chicago, and still had time for everything else. Her name was Sophie Sak and I loved her.

Last week I was lamenting how I wished we had the recipe for her chili sauce. I now buy Heinz brand and it’s good but hers was a little sweeter with more spices, but not hot spicy. Her jars of sauce were gifts I looked forward to and Ken loved especially with pork chops. I have tried to make it with different recipes but not come close to hers. Ethnically the family is Polish/German so we had a fusion of those foods. Delicious!  Pierogi, stuffed cabbage, beef roll-ups, stuffed pork chops..don’t get me started!

Yesterday I picked up my book from the library and stopped into the bookends bookstore where they sell donated books and came across this little treasure.

IMG_8424.JPG.jpeg will not believe what I found today!

I am going to try to make this exact sauce hoping it may be close to Grandma Sophie’s.
Grandma Sophie  lived in Chicago and retired to Florida just like Elaine’s Aunt. I’m so hoping it’s close. Maybe next I could find the Church cookbooks for St. Roberts or St. Constance in Chicago, maybe there are recipes in there.

If you have a recipe for chili sauce please share it with me!

Here are some other great glimpses from this book, because right now it’s all about the tomatoes.



And our beautiful Grandma Sophie.

Ed and Sophie Schielka 1950’s
Ed and Sophie Schielka 1974
Ken and his Grandmothers. Lucky Kid.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful story about a wonderful lady I knew as “Aunt Sophie.” Hello from Chicago. I found this article while cruising the internet looking to piece together family genealogy for posterity’s sake. My grandmother was Aunt Sophie’s sister Mary. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recipes from my grandma, if I did I would share. They were a great family and all salt of the earth. We could use more like them in today’s world. Love the pics!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *