My name is Margarite, and I’m excited to be blogging! I want everyone who visits my blog to feel like we are just chatting over coffee. I will be sharing a variety of things, and I hope you enjoy reading them.
The weather here in Missouri is scorching, which means that garden veggies need to be harvested as soon as they are ripe. Many people are finding themselves with a surplus of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers among other things. Even people who aren’t raising gardens this year can capitalize on the great prices of this season’s plentiful produce. Roadside stands, farmers’ markets, and grocery stores are all bursting with ripe summer goodness.
I have several tomatoes and onions that need to be used quickly. My favorite thing to do with excess tomatoes is to make salsa. My nephew looks forward to receiving a few jars of my homemade salsa every year for Christmas. It’s the only thing he’s ever asked me for. In fact, when I told him that I was making salsa this afternoon he said, “You should make a lot of it. I think 38 jars would probably be enough for me.” What can I say? The kid loves it.
I started by doing something that could be called odd. I put on my shoes. I have learned from experience that it’s wise to wear shoes while doing any kind of canning. Flipflops are a bad idea, too. Boiling water burns like the dickens on bare tootsies, and canning is messy.
I already had most of the ingredients, so I only needed to purchase cilantro and jalapenos. I assembled all of my ingredients, boiling bath canner, food processor, funnel, and jar lifter. You can also use a pressure cooker if you would rather, but I prefer the boiling bath canner.
It is worthy of note that jalapenos have the ability to burn you simply by touching them. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to wear gloves while handling them. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with hands or gloves that have been exposed to jalapenos. Also, don’t use a serrated knife to cut onions or jalapenos.
Making salsa is fairly simple. I created this recipe, so it may differ from others you have seen. If you don’t have enough fresh tomatoes, feel free to used canned diced tomatoes such as Hunts or Rotel.
Here’s my recipe for your tasting pleasure:
Margie’s Spicy Salsa
6 cups tomatoes
8 large jalapenos with the seeds and stems removed
3 cups bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Pulse all ingredients in food processor until they are the consistency you want. I usually pulse one ingredient at a time due to the size of my food processor. I like mine chunky, but not everyone does. Place all ingredients into a stock pot, large sauce pan, or dutch oven. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
While your salsa is cooking, simmer some water in your boiling bath canner with your jars sitting on the elevated rack (wire rack that comes with your canner) just above the water line. Add approximately 1/4 cup of water to each jar. Shortly before your salsa is ready, heat some water to nearly boiling in a shallow microwavable dish, and then submerge your flats.
Ladle your hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe moisture from the jar rim and canning flat. Place flat on jar and then place and tighten canning ring around it. When all of your jars are full, lower your rack into the canner, cover with lid, and heat to a rolling boil. Process in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
Carefully lift rack and secure to the sides of the canner. Then remove one jar at a time with your jar lifter. While holding a towel to the bottom of each jar to avoid dripping, place the jar on a clean folded towel atop a sturdy surface such as a table or cabinet. Repeat with the rest of your jars, and make sure to let them sit where they will be undisturbed for 24 hours. You will hear a popping sound as each jar seals.