Homemade Salsa Fresh from the Garden

Homemade Salsa Fresh from the Garden

We live on an old farm in Solana Beach. We have upstairs neighbors and downstairs neighbors and a really huge, as in, unbelievably massive, yard. We share the garden – and the water bill – so naturally, we also share in the bountiful harvest that comes from the plants and vegetables we take care of around here.

Last week, as I sat typing away in my office, my upstairs neighbor dropped off a bucket full of vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, and onions. It was beautiful.

bucketofveggies A few days ago, I plucked a few green peppers off the vine from our portion of the garden and we added them to the growing pile of fresh veggies in our kitchen.

Peppers Yesterday, our downstairs neighbor dropped off another bucket of bulging red, pink and yellow tomatoes. They were gorgeous. Then I panicked. What are we to do with all this inventory?

After a quick search on the AllRecipes iPhone app, I found the perfect salsa recipe to test out. It included mason jars (which we had on hand) and massive amounts of tomatoes which was perfect. Except for the fact that I don’t really cook and have never canned anything ever in my life. I modified the recipe slightly. You’ll find it below.

But the veggies would go bad if I didn’t come up with a plan for them, so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Actually, that’s not true. I was wearing a sleeveless dress, but I pulled back my hair and got started. No, that’s not true either. I recently cut off about six inches of my hair so it’s no longer the “pull back in a ponytail” length anymore.

Somehow I was able to stall long enough to start the epic preparation while my toddler went in for his daily bath. My husband put him to bed as I was chopping the final ingredients.

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I was able to relax while everything simmered on the stove. That is so far from the truth. I had a major mess to clean up once I was done chopping and adding everything to the pot.

After a slight panic about what the hell I was actually doing, I boiled the mason jars – 6 total – and poured the hot salsa into them and sealed them up just prior to climbing into bed for the night. Hearing the sound of the cans popping as I closed my eyes was pretty funny.

Canned Salsa My very first experience with canning was a success. I dropped off a jar to each of my neighbor’s today. I can’t wait to test out the salsa later this afternoon. The recipe is the perfect combination of sweet & spicy, making this one something I plan on repeating, a new family tradition.

Here’s the recipe for making homemade salsa fresh from the garden.

Sweet & Spicy Salsa for Canning
Yields 6
Sweet & spicy salsa, fresh from the garden.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4-5 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  2. 3 onions, chopped
  3. 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
  4. 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  5. 3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  6. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  7. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  8. 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  9. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  11. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  12. 1/4 cup white sugar
  13. 6 canning jars with lids and rings
Instructions
  1. Submerge tomatoes in boiling water until skin cracks. Remove and peel skin once tomatoes have cooled off.
  2. Combine chopped onions, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, tomato paste, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large pot.
  3. Simmer until thick, about 3 hours.
  4. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pour the salsa into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue.
  5. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  6. Refrigerate after opening.
Notes
  1. Peppers are optional if you don't want the fire.
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting http://happyhealthyhip.com/blog/
Add this to your Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas with Green Sauce for a complete meal.

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