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…)
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).
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.