Friday, September 30, 2011

First Attempt at Salsa

I don't bottle and preserve as much as Sheepy does, she bottles or dehydrates almost everything that her farm produces. She doesn't have a freezer (Taco kept unplugging the chest freezer when he was young and she got discouraged loosing all that food!) so she puts lots of food in bottles.

I'm trying to preserve more.

Last year I dehydrated lots and lots of tomatoes. I still have half of what I dehydrated!

Since Son1 spent two years in Mexico, he likes SPICY food and this year I decided to try to grow tomatoes and peppers to make some salsa for him.

The hot peppers aren't ready but I found a salsa mix at the local farm supply store.

Here is my first attempt (including mistakes!) of making Son1 salsa.

6 lbs of tomatoes from our garden. Hubby picked them last night!
I know there are 6 pounds because I weighed them!
I love canning recipes that tell me the weight of produce I need
instead of how many cups.
I ran across Mrs. Wages Salsa Mix at the local farm supply store and
decided to give it a try. 
Tomatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes. I think it was about a minute too long because the skins had really split wide open and the tomatoes were starting to get mushy.
Ice bath ready to cool the tomatoes quickly after they come out of the water bath. The bowl is sitting in the sink because sinks are easier to clean than counters.
Chillin' tomatoes! Waiting to be peeled and put in the food processor.

After the tomatoes went through the food processor they looked almost like tomato puree. I think that was partly because the food processor is the cheapest one I could fined (Black and Decker) and because the tomatoes were in the boiling water just a little too long.
Mrs. Wages spices and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.
Simmer for 10 minutes (that was easy!)
Vet2Be said it smells delicious!
I love my new funnel. One of my friends gave it to me for my birthday. It covers the lip of the jar so I don't have to wipe off the lip with a rag before I put a lid on.
I put my clean jars on a towel because I make such a gloopy mess. This saves me some clean up time, I throw the towel in the washing machine and it does the work.

Only 5 jars. Hmmmm..... probably because the food processor processed the tomatoes until they were almost puree--my fault. I'll have to figure out how to cook the tomatoes less as well as work the food processor a little better. I hate using so much water for so few jars but my other pot isn't tall enough to cover the jars with water.
Outside canner set up: many people who can in our area use an outdoor propane canner because it keeps the heat outside. These are able to put out alot of heat quickly, too, which means that the water doesn't take forever to heat up.
The bottles are processing for 40 minutes now. The salsa should be done and cooled before Son1 comes home for the weekend.

He can be the guinea pig. He likes "Five Alarm Salsa",
the rest of us like "No Alarm Salsa".

All done!
I like making paper labels for my jars. I hate the sound of jars rattling, the paper helps with that. I can send anyone down to the storage room to find something in particular because each food has a color label and they are printed in large type! And printing labels is much faster for me than writing on each jar.
(Yes, the jar in the front on the left is shorter. It is an old Mrs. Richardson's Fudge jar and lid. My dad taught me to re-use lids and jars until they don't seal anymore--not USDA standard, but it works for us.)


Farmer's City Wife said...

Yum and yay!

How do you get your paper labels to stick? Tape?

I love the new look on your blog :)... I almost didn't recognize and had to think, "what, whose blog am I on again?"

TJ said...

Yes, I tape them where the paper meets on the back.

Thanks for the compliment :) I ended up starting another blog for our little neighborhood quilt group and found that it wasn't that hard to change the background!

AAW said...

Thanks TJ for all the neat "how to's" you post - very informative and helpful.

The background looks great, but the links to the entries are hard to see because of the picture behind it (light green/yellow on other light colors.) Is there another link color that might contrast the background better?

TJ said...

AAW, I noticed the color problem this morning. I hadn't had a chance to get to it. Thanks for reminding me :)

And thanks for visiting!