Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When we went to the farmers' market last weekend Big J suggested we buy a big box of tomatoes and make salsa.  I didn't really think it through when I agreed.  As you can imagine it turned out to be quite a bit of work.  But, as usual, it was worth it.

Although I've made plenty of salsa, I've never canned it before.  So I spent some time looking up recipes.  I also looked at the ingredients for Green Mountain Salsa which is one of my favorites.  I ended up using a recipe that I think called for too much vinegar.  The other (minor) issue was that it was really hot!  Much hotter than I expected.  I had used a Garden Salsa pepper and one jalapeno from our garden; apparently the lack of rain and my lack of watering made for some pretty spicy peppers.  But I canned it and will hope for the best. 

I made a second batch with a milder, store-bought jalapeno and less vinegar.  I think that will be better and little j will be happier with it.

Nine jars of salsa later I still had nearly 2/3 box of tomatoes.  So I decided to can diced tomatoes.  This was much easier than I expected and really didn't take that long.  The major change from the canning I've done before was the processing time.  Generally jars are processed for 15 minutes; the tomatoes are processed for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the jar. 
little j peeling

Partially filled pot of diced tomatoes -- eventually this pot was filled to the top!

The process was a family affair with Big J blanching the tomatoes, little j peeling and me chopping.  Then when we were ready to fill the jars, I put the tomatoes in and little j added the lemon juice.  We finished the day with 8 pints and 2 quarts of diced tomatoes -- perfect for sauces or soups and stews throughout the winter!

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