Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Adventure: Fresh Salsa

This summer I tried my hand at growing a vegetable garden (which failed miserably when I went away for a couple weeks and hubby didn't water them once...)

We were hoping to grow some of our own food, but aside from a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes and some herb snippings, everything else ended up brown and fried. I'm sad, but we still got lots of *free* fresh veggies from the excess in my parents garden!

My parents went on a trip to the east coast for over a week, and while they were gone, I raided (I mean "maintained") their garden. I scored dozens of cucumbers, quite a few potatoes, only a couple heads of corn (it was ripe the week before they left, and then again the week they came back, but not in between), and a nice pail of beans.

Earlier in the summer I was able to pick (and make into jam) a TON of raspberries. I think they're monkey's favourite fruit, and they work quite well to bribe him to behave.

While my parents were gone, I took a trip with Monkey to the Kitchener/Waterloo area.

Let me say one thing before I continue. Travelling without a cell phone in a not-so-familiar area is not something I want to do again.

Our trip might have been short (2 days, one night) but we crammed a lot into that time. My favourite part was the trip I made to St Jacob's Market with a friend I met before Monkey was born. I scored some great deals on some excellent produce, and came home with tons more than we could eat ourselves.

My haul included:



-plum tomatoes

-hot peppers

-sweet peppers

-creamed honey

I got the peppers and tomatoes to make salsa, and with a friend back in Kingston, we had a salsa making night!

We made 2 recipes, and since I cracked one open tonight (and pigged out on it) I wanted to share the recipe!

The book we used is called: the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving, and it was really easy to follow. I also liked that the size of the batches gave myself and my friend a couple jars of each recipe we did, so that we could try out something new but we weren't stuck with a ton of something we don't like.

Southwest Salsa:

4 cups chopped peeled tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper

2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used 2 hot banana peppers and kept half the seeds in for some spice)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp each: granulated sugar and pickling salt

1/4 cup tomato paste

1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, vinegar, coriander, orange and lime juice, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.

2. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle salsa into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) or rim. Process 20 minutes for half-pint (250 mL) and pint (500 mL) jars.

Makes 4 cups

For my first time making salsa (and my first time doing the whole canning process with boiling water) I had a lot of fun, and it was much easier than I expected. Of course, the apartment was super hot, and we did have to chase a curious toddler back to bed dozens of times, but overall I am definitely going to do it again.

For a link to buy the book in Canada go here. (After I return it to the library, it's going on my wish list)

I'm linking up with Alicia's Homemaking and her Thursday adventures. For other adventures, go here.

I think my next canning adventure might involve either applesauce, or apple butter... but we'll see if I get around to it when this baby finally makes an appearance (3-6 more weeks!)



  1. Thanks so much for the baby food book tip! I've found some sites online that have great (easy) recipes and storage tips as well - I can't wait to start making my own! And I knew that babies could thrive solely on milk for the first six months, but I didn't know for up to a year, that's interesting. I don't plan to stop feeding him solids, but you couldn't pay me enough money to stop nursing, it is one of my favorite times of the day! My poor child is going to want to take me to Kindergarten for lunch :)

    Thanks for the comment!


  2. Oh, I would love to own that book, since I've gotten so into canning lately.
    I made homemade salsa lately but didn't have enough to can any. It was so yummy and fresh!

  3. I vote apple butter. Yum!

    I might have to try that salsa since our tomatoes are ripening. Bummer on your garden being fried, but glad your parents had extra for you.