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Tammy's Salsa

The following is from my blog, telling how I go about doing salsa each skip it, just scroll down to the recipe.

Friday, I cleaned the freezers and pulled out all the frozen stuff from the gardens. When it is summer, as we pick tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, and so forth, we cut it all up and put it into freezer bags. Then when it is cold in the winter…like right now…I pull it all out to can it.

This has been a really good way to can food. If you can in the summer, you only heat up an already hot kitchen. In the winter, it actually feels nice to heat up the kitchen. I also like that you’re not doing all the work at one time.

Picking, washing, and cutting up the stuff is enough work in itself. Adding the canning is just too much.

In this picture, you can see the three tubs that I have all the garden stuff in to defrost. There wasn’t as much this year as we are in the middle of a drought. (Yes, we still are in the middle of an extreme drought… whole lakes and ponds have dried up and the land is brown, dead, and cracking in places…it is really sad).

Then I take the tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeños and run them through the food processor. Also I drain off any extra liquids (this saves me from having to cook the salsa as long).

Then I put all the processed foods in my huge cooker. This year I had to add #5 cans of tomato sauce as we had many more peppers from the garden than tomatoes. Tomato plants do not bloom when it is too hot and without the blossoms…no fruit.

I then added granulated garlic and dehydrated onion (I used to use fresh onion and garlic, but what a horrible task it is to cut and peel and run garlic and onion through a food processor. Your eyes water, your nose runs, your hands and eyes burn. Major yuk. The dehydrated onion is also cheaper and it hydrates as you cook the salsa.)

I also add cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, then stir it, taste it, and add whatever I think is missing for flavor.

When I do such a large batch, I do not measure exactly. I am just “guess-timating”, but it always tastes good. I just look at the recipe and try to keep the proportions the same.

This picture is the salsa all ready. I do not cook it long as it will cook as it is canned.

I then put it in the jars and get it ready for processing. You can go to this link on my website to learn more about canning.

In this picture, you can see three jars of turkey broth that I had left over. I made a Spanish Turkey for our church Christmas social and put the leftover broth in these jars. Once it is sealed and canned, the food can last for several years. Broth can be used in so many foods, so it is really nice to have canned and in your pantry.

I also had some black bean salsa that was in the freezer. I took it out with the garden stuff and canned it as well. I figure I can use it in a pot of beans or heat it up as a warmed up salsa or use it on top of enchiladas…hummm…I’ll find a use for it.

I spent the rest of the day canning. I had both canners going and processed food until late.

The one on the left is my canner and the pot on the right is full of the salsa. I waited for years to find and finally be able to buy such a nice. large pot.

The next picture shows both canners going and filling the jars with salsa.

Tammy's Salsa Recipe

2 6 ounce cans of tomato paste or a 24 ounce can/jar of tomato sauce (I have done both and try to buy a cheap generic that is basil flavoring, etc. that will change the flavor of the salsa)

22 tomatoes chopped ( I have used a #5 can of diced through a food processor...unless you want it really chunky...same with the bell peppers)

5 large onions chopped (or again through the processor or just use 1 cup of dehydrated onion)

7-10 Jalepenos seeded and chopped (again...I run these through the food processor and have used canned through the processor)

2 Bell Peppers seeded and chopped

6 cloves of garlic (I use 2-3 Tablespoons of granulated garlic)

3/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of salt

1 cup of apple cider vinegar (DO NOT use white vinegar...yucky flavor for salsa...believe does matter)

If you want your salsa chunky, chop up everything. If you want it like the restaurants, run it through a food processor. If you want it smooth, do it in a blender. It is a personal choice.

Boil it for 5-10 minutes stirring everything together to make sure all blended well and tatstes good. Add more blended jalepeno if you want it hotter. Sometimes, I have even added Tobasco sauce or green chili sauce to make a batch HOT. Do what you like.

If you want it very mild, only start with 4 jalepenos and see what you think. You can always add more later. But you do have to add some or it will taste really bland. The jalepeno is not just for HOT it is also for flavor.

Process for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

(What is not mentioned in some canning instructions is that venting time (ten minutes after the water boils in your pressure canner) plus getting your canner up to pressure (another ten to fifteen minutes) plus letting the pressure go down (another 15 minutes or more) brings your real processing time to 45 minutes or more.)

Also, I do not use the hot water bath to can anymore as many of today's variety of tomatoes are low acid which means they can go bad after a few years in the jars and you have to throw awy the whole batch.

Just be safe and pressure can everything. It is faster and safer! What is there not to like?

If you are just going to freeze it. Boil it for 20 minutes for a better flavor.

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