Tag Archives: tomatoes

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.

Caution: Gardening can be hazardous to your health

Okay, perhaps just to mine. Earlier this summer I ended up planting 48 heirloom Brandywine tomato plants (due to a slight communication failure), which was about 40 plants more than I had intended but at the end of a long and exhausting afternoon they were all planted and ready to grow.  I lost one this summer due to some wind damage, but figured that was an extraordinary survival percentage on the others.  Despite the lack of water this summer and some pretty hot days for our area, the plants have grown and yielded a massive amount of tomatoes on the vine, and finally they are starting to ripen for picking.

That brings us to today, and my declaration that I will never plant tomatoes again. I’ve been really worried about them because they are growing to enormous size (seriously, these guys are getting UGLY big) but staying green and my Dad suggested that I needed to get in there and remove all the excess foliage on the plants and allow the sunlight to reach more of the tomatoes to ripen them (ah…. so that’s what they mean by “sun-ripened tomatoes”….).  I headed out with clippers in hand and got to work, clearing away all the extra green and weeds (weeding gardens is NOT my thing… I tend to let nature take over a bit  too much between the rows).  Within 15 minutes I was sneezing to beat the band.  30 minutes in I am making such good progress on the plants and filling up a bucket with all the ripe ones that I find in there, becoming rather oblivious to my constant sneezing – it’s nearly fall, sometimes I get a little sneezy, not a problem. After an hour it becomes very apparent to me that I am having a hard time breathing in between all the sneezing, and my ears and throat are burning and itching, and now that I look, my arms and hands are covered in a bright red rash that is itching like crazy, and my fingers look like they are swelling… hmmm…maybe I should go inside…

Then I try to get a drink and realize I can’t really swallow very well, and geez, actually talking is a bit hard too. I found some children’s Benadryl to take, and then started to worry a bit as I realize this is a fairly intense allergic reaction.  Not being able to breathe gets a bit scary and I have a new-found empathy for asthmatics. I don’t know what exactly I got into out there, but hours later I am sitting here with an insanely itchy rash on my hands, watery eyes, scratchy throat and still a little short on breath, and a couple hundred tomatoes still out there, waiting for me….  attack of the killer tomatoes, indeed.  I think I will REALLY enjoy scalding the heck out of them making salsa this week… assuming I live long enough to actually get them out of the garden.  The battle is on, this round goes to the tomatoes.

Milking Chickens

Bumbling around, just trying to figure out how to feed ourselves.

popsicle kitty

Just another WordPress.com weblog

From a Montana Front Porch

Pull up a rocker, relax, and enjoy the view.

Happy Hens

Just like real life. But with chickens.


Celebrating WOOL for what it is.


Our Roots. Our Tradition. Embrace It.

Romancing the Bee

Beautiful Beekeeping, English Cottage Gardening, and Cooking with Honey

Aquaponic Family

Our adventure into the fascinating world of aquaponic gardening and self-sufficiency


organic farm livin'


Career Connections for the Modern Agriculture Industry


My crazy adventure changing an Amish Farm

Two Barn Farm

Sustainable Farming, Permaculture, Gardening and Homesteading in Ohio

Cliff House Alpacas

Fiber adventures and alpaca antics

Photo Nature Blog

Nature Photography by Jeffrey Foltice

Town & Country Gardening

Southwest Oklahoma