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Sep 13 / Michael

Late Summer Salsa

It feels like the summer blew by. This time of year all our hard work in the garden really starts paying off. We’ve been getting our “cash crop” — tomatoes — for almost a month. The ordinary end product for our tomatoes is quart jars of sauce, which we use all year. A couple years ago we made a salsa that was delicious, we thought we’d replicate again.

Making Salsa

Our basic recipe is this one, adapted from here:

  • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onion, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 3 – 5 chopped jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed (we augmented this with some cherry peppers from the garden, obviously more if you like hotter, less if you like milder or need to make the salsa kid-friendly, like we do)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic (we go heavy on the garlic)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 cup canning salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 8 oz tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes.  Pour into hot jars, process at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes for pints.  Makes 6-7 pints.

We scale that basic recipe up by about quadruple.  This winds up making ~26 pints, so we need to run a couples batch in our pressure canner (we can fit 16 wide-mouth pints in the canner at one time).  We’re using about 15 pounds of chopped tomatoes, not including the sauced tomatoes, 3-5 pounds onions, 2-3 pounds green pepper, etc., each time.

We’ve also found that you can skip peeling the tomatoes if you don’t mind the visual (seeing tomato peels in your finished salsa), as it doesn’t seem to affect the texture.  We’ve experimented with the coarseness of the chopped vegetables and we don’t think they need to be as finely chopped as you’d think.  That said, we think our vegetables were a little too coarse in our second batch (though it’s still delicious).  It’s probably best to imagine eating the vegetables on a tortilla chip and scale that up by 10-20% (because everything reduces in size after being cooked).

Making Salsa

Seed, Drain and Chop Tomatoes — we’re getting tons from our garden at the moment

Making Salsa

Onions — peeled before chopping

Making Salsa

Chopped Green Peppers — seeds and ribs removed before chopping

Making Salsa

Jalapeño Peppers — seeds and ribs removed before chopping

Making Salsa

Saucing the Tomatoes — we used some tomatoes we previously sauced in this recipe

Making Salsa

Peeling Garlic

Making Salsa

Such a lovely blend of vegetables

Making Salsa

Simmering salsa — this was our second batch and we think the vegetables are too coarse in this one. We thought they were too fine after our first batch and overcompensated.

Making Salsa

Finished Product. We’ve put by almost 50 pints by now.

Another big milestone this time of year is getting our wood delivery for winter. We heat our house with about 4 cords of wood every year. The kids get so excited about it and love to help. The older two are actually helpful (our little one just likes to watch).

Firewood Delivery

Two of our four cords, stacked and ready to go for the winter.

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