My tomato plants have been producing like crazy, and I’m not able to eat them fast enough to keep some from rotting. Therefore, I needed to preserve them. My favorite thing to do with excess tomatoes is to make salsa. I enjoy eating it all year, and the jars make great gifts.
I always start by putting on my shoes. I learned from experience that it’s wise to wear shoes while doing any kind of canning. Flipflops are just as bad an idea of going barefoot. Boiling water burns like the dickens on bare tootsies, and canning is messy.
Keep in mind 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 based on what I had in the kitchen, 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.
Margarite’s Medium Salsa
10 cups peeled tomatoes
4 large jalapenos with the seeds and stems removed
2 cups bell pepper
2 cups onion, your choice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 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 40 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.
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