Monday, June 15, 2009

Yes, We Can!...Salsa and Tomato Sauce

"Yes, We Can" is a famous phrase now isn't it? I don't care what your political views are...that was an inauguration speech to put in the books. I try to steer clear of political statements on my blog. However, I couldn't resist this one. Yes, we can. Around here, "we can" means we put away our summer bounty in these shiny little jars and in the winter we have homemade goodies. Home canning is freaky fun. This week it's been an inordinate amount of tomatoes. I had some empty jars and a few extra hours with some idle handed kids. I had to put them to work for fear their brains would turn to mush. I don't know if I can look at tomatoes the same anymore after seeing the growing process first hand working on the farm (hint hint Organic Tomato Farming ) . After pulling weeds, trimming branches and plucking the fruit myself, I can finally say I appreciate these little bad boys.
And what did I can? Hot salsa and tomato sauce.
Here's a little known fact...tomatoes need added acid for boiling water bath canning. I got educated from the book "Canning for Dummies" by Karen Ward. I would love to hug her! She gave me so much canning confidence! She covered everything from equipment to food safety. Her recipes have all turned out superb (no I have not tried all of them...). If you have the means, I highly recommend picking it up. Her salsa recipe is the bomb-dig-a-dee. Ace sucked it down like it was soup.
Jalapeno Salsa (from Karen Ward's "Canning for Dummies")
2 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped to measure 3 cups
7 oz can diced jalapeno chilies
1 onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves of minced garlic
2T fine chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Prepare your canning jars and two piece caps according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot.
Place all the ingredients in a 5 to 6 quart pot. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to low an simmer uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Ladle your hot salsa into the prepared jars, leaving head space of 1/4 inch. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with two piece caps, hand tightening the bands. Process the filled jars in a water boiling water bath for 10 minutes from the point of boiling. Remove the jars from the boiling water with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels away from draft. After the jars cool, test the seals. If you find jars that haven't sealed, refrigerate them and use them within 2 months. Yield 3 pints.
As for the tomato sauce...very little of it actually made it to the jars...

There you go.

No comments: