Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Salsa At Last

Good morning and happy Wednesday. Gold Country sister Tina here, with my second post, which is again about salsa, and at the end is my basic salsa recipe.

What a relief. The salsa is done! 14 jewel toned, full little pints, made last Sunday. It was a nice day, and not too hot for being in the kitchen for several hours with giant pots boiling on the stove. The scent of hot peppers was so strong at times that if I breathed deeply it made me cough. I always have to make sure to wear rubber gloves when I work with the peppers or my hands carry the hot oil for days, and I end up with it in my eyes at some point. And the onions, well let's say, I might as well think about all the saddest things in the world while I am chopping since I spend a lot of time crying anyway!

The pot on the left is my large green enameled stock pot, in which the salsa simmers while I get the jars sterilized in the pot to the right, which is where the pints get their hot water bath. That pot has a nice rack inside which holds 7 pints and lifts them up out of the boiling water when they are done, after 15 minutes of processing.

These jars were all sterilized and waiting to be filled with salsa. The black handled lifter on the left I could not do without. It has wooden handles, and the part that goes into the hot water is rubberized against the heat. I have used this little gadget for at least 15 years, and it is still in great condition. I couldn't can without it!

Here the pints were all lined up just filled and ready for their hot water bath. This is a great point in salsa making because all the mess is over, and it is time to look forward to filling my pantry with the fruits of my labors. After they are all done in their bath, I set them back on the counter and listen for each little "crack/pop" as the lids seal. I love that sound!

Here is the first batch all done, except for the labels. I hadn't made the labels yet, since I was still contemplating the name. Although I had come up with all kinds of names based on my procrastination, I finally decided this batch will be "Here's My Heart" Salsa. No matter how much time I seem to spend thinking about the right name, at the end the salsa usually ends up almost naming itself.

Below is the basic recipe for salsa, which I change for each batch depending on how many tomatoes I have, what kind of hot peppers are available, and whether I feel like adding garlic or other spices. But this recipe is the very plain and simple one which won the top award for me at the El Dorado County Fair in 1997.

Hot chili salsa for canning. Yields 6 to 8 pints


1 pound onions
2 pounds hot peppers
5 pounds fresh tomatoes
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 to 1 cup vinegar

Finely chop or coarsely grind onions and peppers. Peel, if desired, and chop tomatoes into small pieces. Add onions, peppers and other ingredients to tomatoes. Heat to simmering; simmer 10 minutes. Pack into clean, hot pint or half-pint jars; seal. Process 15 minutes in simmering hot water bath. Per 1/2 cup serving: 43 calories, 2 gr. protein, 10 gr. carb., 0 grams fat, 0 mg chol. 278 mg sodium.

I hope you enjoy making your salsa as much as I enjoy making mine, once I set my mind to it.


Heidi Ann said...

Wow - Since I haven't ever done any canning, I find it all quite interesting. Such a lot of work, but then what great results your efforts yield! Thinking I may even get a taste of this batch!
I like the name you chose for it, too.

Lorlore said...

Great name and great canning!! Nice pics of the kitchen, too!!

yosemite faith said...

that tool you have is what i need to find for john and i. we are hoping to have enough tomatoes ripe by this weekend and the name of our salsa will be tinas' best. i will let you know how it goes. i love that little pop too!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Thank you for the recipe! I love your collection of matchbox holders! Twyla

Tina Dawn said...

Thanks Heidi and Lorlore, I love you.
Faith, I am so thrilled you are going to name your salsa after me! Thank you. I hope all goes well and you hear little crack/pops all through the kitchen. I wish I could transport my lifter to you. I have had it so long I forget where I found it. Maybe try a restaurant supply store or a kitchen store? I am working on another batch of salsa today, I think I have a name for it too: Heart and Soul.
Twyla, thank you for noticing my match holders! I actually have one more I haven't hung up yet. They all have matches in them too. It is nice to have at least one spot in the house where we know where we can always find them, because in the winter we have a wood stove, and my DH seems to always have a burn pile going somewhere!

KariVery said...

That's really awesome!! We went to dinner last night and had mango salsa - it was delish!! Love salsa! Can I come over? I'll bring the chips!

Tina Dawn said...

Come on over KariVery, I'd love to see you again. Heidi can come too. Watch out though and bring some milk, this salsa has a very spicy kick! Those serrano peppers are small but powerful. Love T

yosemite faith said...

well tina we are currently awaiting for the lids to go pop. did yours have a lot of liquid in it? ours seems to but the taste test we did before putting in the jars was really good!!!!! i will let you know - maybe the name will be tinas best recipe and our best try at it....:)

Tina Dawn said...

Hi Faith. The liquid seems to depend on the tomatoes, the type and if they are really ripe, etc. I have had some that after the salsa settles there might be about 3/4 inch of liquid in the bottom. It has never stopped anyone from enjoying it. Just a little messier than most. I bet yours turned out yummy. Whatever your salsa's name turns out to be (and like I said they seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to the name) I hope you like it. Try pouring it over a slab of cream cheese (okay, Weight Watchers: nonfat cream cheese!) and dip those Scoopers corn chips in it. It is really good. Tina

yosemite faith said...

i know it will still be good - we did about 30 pints yesterday - all with garlic - some with lime - some with parsley - some with cilantro. just wondered about your experience in canning. we used heirloom yellow, heirloom red, and a bunch of other red tomatoes. we have about 10 different types in garden (plus small yellow plum & cherry tomatoes). i love salsa so much john asked if we had canned enough to last me this month! thanks again for the recipe.

SherrerDelite said...

Hey thanks for the recipe Tina.. i wrote it down.. You gave me a jar of Here's My Heart salsa and WOW .. i love it..!
And i love the pics you shared too.. your kitchen is awesome..!
Oh your blog about the plants was interesting too..!
With Love.. your yard sale buddy.. Denise