Friday, August 10, 2007

Everybody SALSA!

Last year Hubby made some salsa from canned tomatoes and a mix, which we then canned. He loves salsa and chips, and it was less expensive and just as good. So as the tomatoes started ripening, and because the plants are so heavy with fruit they can hardly stand up, I decided one of the ways I will preserve them is as salsa, in addition to spaghetti sauce.

So I begin my adventures in salsa making!

Like most hot-water-bath canned stuff, making the actual product is pretty easy. You chop and maybe add liquids and usually something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar as a preservative, bring it to a boil for the specified time (always follow the heating and boiling instructions precisely, or your product may not last on the shelf), and can it. The you boil the heck out of it to kill all the enzymes and you're done. It's very time-consuming though. I usually plan the worse of the moving really hot liquids around the kitchen around naptime, or have snack ready so the kids are at the table.

So I chop my four pounds of tomatoes and some green pepper and green onion (if only because they're pretty!) and get the salsa going.

Pretty, isn't it? As it cooked it became less chunky, which suprised me as these are very meaty tomatoes. Now let's zoom out and see the secret to fantastic salsa...

Yup, I cheated. Right now Wal-Mart has the Ball brand canning seasonings for about a dollar a pack. I've no idea what makes a great salsa, and don't want to experiment with recipes while I'm trying to preserve things. Not to mention buying the onion, green pepper, lime juice, pepper sauce and other ingredients would get expensive. My salsa is now pretty much guaranteed edible for a very low cost.

The recipe didn't quite make four pints as it said; this is probably because I substituted a cup of chopped green onion and green pepper for a cup of tomatoes and didn't get the liquid needed. But I'm used to that, I always seem to have an extra little bit when I make jam, and had extra smaller jars heated and ready. Grandpa has dibs on the little jars: he says the problem he has with salsa is he loves to dip things in it, so less is better. Next time I will remember that extra non-tomatoes don't really add to the volume (and still keep a small jar handy!).

And here we have it: my very first batch of salsa.


Josgar said...

I wonder what Salsa from Alaska tastes like? :P

Hubby & Me said...

Better than salsa from New York City!

This batch actually came out a little watery and thin-tasting. I think the trick will be to drain off some of the liquid and add some more fresh tomatoes before I add the seasonings.

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