Thursday, August 23, 2012

Canning Season!

I just love this time of year!  I've been busy filling my pantry for the upcoming months by preserving the freshness of this season.  If I was to rate my family's top picks in home canned goodness... my dill pickles are at the top of their list (thank goodness, I've checked this off my to-do list! lol) and next would be my homemade salsa.  While at the Farmer's Market this past Sunday, I discovered that all the ingredients I would need were in ample supply for making salsa.  I was even more motivated to tackle some canning this week because I was able to get 40lbs. of roma tomatoes for only $25. Romas are just the best for salsa!
Washed and ready to take a dip into boiling water to remove those skins!
Salsa is not something I grew up with, but marrying a man that loves his salsa (the hotter, the better!), meant that I was keen to learn how to make my own.  Years ago, when I first started canning, I would diligently follow a salsa recipe in the Ball Blue Book of Canning.  Apparently, it was too mild for my hubby's taste, so I started experimenting with adding various hot peppers to kick up the heat.

 You can imagine my disappointment years ago to have added all sorts of hot peppers (jalapeno, red chili, hot banana) to find that it still wasn't hot enough!  That's when I thought about leaving in those seeds and "ribs" in all the hot peppers.  That did the trick.  My salsa is eye-watering hot and that's exactly the way my guys like it.  Salsa this hot isn't for everyone. I will admit I can't eat the amounts  my hubby and youngest son can, but they think I'm a rockstar when it comes to salsa making, so I'm not complaining. lol

 Salsa making is more labour intensive than most anything else I can, due to all the veggie chopping it entails (I hand chop everything but those hot peppers), but it makes a thicker salsa which is so worth the work.   Once I had used up all my onions, bell peppers and assorted hot peppers,  I chopped up a few ripe peaches to make the salsa extra special.  Salsa complete, several pounds of romas remained.  They were canned on their own.

Here's the final results: 28pints (and 1qt -for immediate received two thumbs up by my taste tasters... lol) of hot, hot salsa and 9 qts of romas (for winter soups and chili making).  Doesn't look like much when I know how fast these jars will be devoured.  I think I see more salsa canning in the near future.  Did I mention how much I love this time of year? ;o)

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August 23rd

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  1. The salsa and tomatoes look yummy, but holy smokes that's a lot of chopping, lol! My hands would have given out after about 5 minutes :D My husband loves salsa - we buy it @ Costco - I've never made it from scratch. I bet homemade is FAR better than store bought!

  2. Homemade dills and salsa are so much better than anything you can buy in the store. We didn't get our garden in this year and the prices at our farmer's market are just ridiculous. I made a small batch of dill pickles last week when I found cucumbers on sale for 50 cents.

  3. Wow Katherine, that looks great. And how MUCH work chopping all the veggies. Is salsa the same as chutney?
    Here they are still too expensive to can them, have to wait some weeks....

  4. I am trying so hard not to be jealous here. Tomato prices in the supermarkets vary according to quality and type but even if you went with the low end and said £1.50 a pound that would be £60 for what you bought, the exchange rate making it close to CAN$100. There isn't a really good farmers market close to us, but on the IoW there was a tomato seller at the one there and she sold her products at higher than supermarket prices. When I think of things I miss about Canada road side honesty stalls in harvest time is up there near the top of the list.

  5. In the olden days when I used to can the apricots, peaches, and tomatoes from my parent's garden, I loved to look at them all lined up on the kitchen counter when I was finished. Your beautiful salsa display brought back some great memories--they look yummy!

  6. I've never canned, and that sounds like so much fun... I'm very south in Florida, so, produce is readily available in winter, so I guess that's why, but, it does appeal to that same part of me that loves making a quilt, and then using what's left to make another, and what's left after that either in a small piece or as part of a scrappy quilt... kudos to you!


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