Friday, September 2, 2011
If you have been a follower of my blog for very long, you know that this time every year is SALSA canning time! Even if I didn't feel like it one year, I could not get away without doing it. My children and husband would NEVER let me miss. They love our salsa. Tannon calls it "the nectar of the gods." He is begging me to send him some in Spain. Are you kidding me? It would cost $65 to send 2 quarts. Do I really love him that much? I'm still debating.
I try to can between 50 and 60 quarts per year. Yep, my family averages a quart per week. Craziness! I just finished 30 and need to do another 30 next week.
My wonderful father-in-law (who is a MASTER gardener, see produce photo above) shares all the ingredients with me (except for the sugar, salt and vinegar, Silly. Those don't grow in the garden!) each year and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I tried making it one year with produce I bought at the store, and even once from the Farmer's Market, and it didn't even come close. If you are not a gardener, the best way to get your produce is to find a farmer who has a stand by the side of the road. You know that these are freshly picked and didn't ripen off the vine.
I shared my recipe last year, but I thought I'd share it again. At our house, we like our salsa kinda sweet and hot (I like it much hotter than everyone else, so I have to make some batches a little more mild). I have indicated the amount of sugar, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar that I use in my recipe. If you don't want it quite as sweet, you can decrease the sugar and change the apple cider vinegar to regular vinegar.
Karen Pedersen's Salsa
single recipe makes 5-6 pints or about 3 quarts
24 large tomatoes
Wash and scald tomatoes. Peel. My family likes smooth salsa so at this point I gently puree the tomatoes in my blender, but this step is not necessary. Cut in quarters if you are not pureeing. Cook for at least 1 hour in a large heavy pot. Skim off juice while cooking.
Chop the following by hand or food processor. I puree these too, not until it is totally liquid but until it is a nice thick and smooth paste. Be sure to wear gloves while doing your jalapeno peppers. If they are good, hot ones they will blister your bare hands.
2 large white onions
1 sweet red pepper
2 large green peppers
1/2 medium sized garlic clove, minced
2-4 jalapeno peppers (I love my salsa HOT so I use at least 4 of the hottest peppers I can find. If you leave your seeds in it will be even hotter. I leave the seeds in.)
Mix this in the tomato mixture in the pot and cook down another 45-minutes - 1 hour. The longer you cook it the thicker it will be, but it will also make less salsa.
1 Tbs. white sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
6 tea. salt
Cook again for another 30 minutes. Fill bottles and process* for 10 minutes to seal.
Note from Karen:
*I have never processed my jars in the 15+ years I have canned salsa. If you turn them over right after putting your lids on, they will seal from the heat. I just lay out several layers of towels on my kitchen table and turn my jars upside down there and leave them over night. I have never not had a jar seal.