Tag Archives: canning

Saturday Salsa

Well, after a 2nd attempt at harvesting tomatoes, followed by a 2nd major allergy attack this week- we’ve got enough in to do the first batch of salsa!  I’m using a basic “traditional salsa” recipe from the Ball Canning website, but altering it a bit to suit our garden harvest and tastes. 

This made 7 pints (I was going for 8, but 7 is precisely what I got…not sure why really, other than a sneaking suspicion this entire crop of tomatoes is really determined to mess with me at every step…)

14 cups peeled, seeded and cored tomatoes, 6 chopped green and sweet red peppers, 8 cloves garlic- minced, 1 medium onion- minced, 1 cup white vinegar,4 Tbsp. lime juice,4 Tsp. salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and boil- then simmer for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, get your large water canner ready w/ boiling water and your clean jars and lids ready and kept warm in simmering water until you are ready to use them (this is supposed to keep jars from breaking when you put the very hot salsa in them).   Next comes the part where you hustle a bit (the kids are bribed to stay out of the kitchen with a promise of Harry Potter and pudding when I am done)…

Ladle the VERY hot salsa into the jars and leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. Make sure the rim of the jar and the lid are wiped clean and dry, then place the lid on, followed by tightening a ring on.  Then the jars go into the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  I’m using the Ball Canning Discovery Kit and Utensil Set, which are really pretty cheap and easy to use- the only downside is that the basket only holds 3 jars at a time…so the canning process takes a little longer than if I had one of those big old metal sets that my mom and grandmothers used to use (really really wish I hadn’t sold the 2 of them I had found in the shed out back when we bought the house… foresight has never been one of my gifts).

So, here we are- 2-1/2 hours and 1 dead bee later (nasty surprise flying around the kitchen) and we’ve got Salsa!

It’s looking good, maybe a wee bit heavy on the liquid… I’ll have to work on that for the next batch, but it’s easy enough to drain off before eating.  All in all- worth the hassle, I think.

Apparently, I am REALLY going to like tomatoes.

Earlier this week, I sadly gave up on the heirloom Brandywine tomato seedlings that I had tried to start..they just didn’t make it (it’s possible that the 6 foot fall they took from the porch railing to the ground below in a massive wind and hail storm had something to do with their ultimate demise…).  My father called me this morning from the local Amish greenhouse to report that they had some nice looking Brandywine plants, so I told him to get me $10 worth.

“$10 worth, huh.  Are you sure??” he asked with a laugh.

“Yeah Dad, just get whatever you can get for $10.”

And then he arrives a bit later, with my $10 worth of Brandywine tomato plants… all 48 of them.  Forty-eight!

He tells me that when he asked the Amish owner to please give him $10 worth of the plants, the man smiled and asked him,  Why?

Dad explained that his daughter had asked for $10 worth, so that’s what he was getting.

“Well, she must REALLY like tomatoes” the man said, laughing, as he handed over a flat full of 48 plants.

So 2 hours later, here they are all planted.  The whole while, my father stands nearby giggling away as I plant 48 tomato plants.  I admit that I actually was expecting  3-5 plants…really… and this is fairly ridiculous… but I plant every single one, and assure him that he will stop laughing later this summer when he gets to taste these beauties – they are the BEST tasting tomatoes on earth (in my humble opinion-  and I really was never much of a tomato fan until I grew these last year).   My rationale was this- for $10, I can buy 3 jars of salsa at the store, so I may as well spend it on the plants and get a FEW more jars of homemade salsa instead.  Simple and logical, right?

Looks like I had better start stocking up on canning jars for salsa 🙂

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