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:
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.
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!)