Busy busy around our house this week. Besides school, we have house painting getting started today (more on that another day), ripe peaches on the tree and all over our kitchen, and many pounds of tomatoes and peppers cluttering up the fridge. It’s canning season, and I am trying hard to remind myself that things are just going to be a little crazy, cluttered, and sticky for a few days. There are empty jars lining my counters, boxes of peaches on my dining room table, bags of tomatoes, onions and peppers filling the fridge. Rings, lids, tongs, huge pots full of boiling water going on the stove all day, timers going off all the time, a hot and steamy kitchen…is it crazy that I love doing this?

This year I found a great little book online full of wonderful salsa recipes! You can download it for free and print it out, I had fun putting it together and reading the information on canning tomatoes in the front. I used the recipe for “Salsa Using Paste Tomatoes” but used slicing tomatoes instead, since that’s what I had. I found a handy way to hold the recipe book up, too!

One thing I discovered this year that has made my salsa-canning experience much easier is that you can use your food processor with the grating blade to process the tomatoes, peppers and onions! It was so much faster than doing it by hand and I love the texture it produced, especially since I used slicing tomatoes….it turned out much less watery this way, and didn’t need to be cooked down as long! Here is the recipe, which you can find (along with many others) in the book I mentioned above:

Tomato Salsa (Using Paste Tomatoes)

7 quarts peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
4 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
5 cups chopped onion
½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeño peppers
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups bottled lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin*
3 tablespoons oregano leaves*
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro*

Combine all ingredients except cumin, oregano and
cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring
frequently, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add
spices and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving ½ inch
headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water
canner 15 minutes at 0–1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at
1,001–6,000 feet; or 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.

Yield: 16–18 pints

Salsa canning….finished. Here’s what’s up next:

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