15 August 2014

Canning Season !!!

Yesterday was a cool, breezy, 'preview of autumn' day! The tomatoes were mounded on the kitchen island and the makings for salsa were waiting in the fridge ... all I needed to do was get into 'slice and dice' mode.

The idea of homemade salsa took hold a few years ago and since then, I have experimented with various recipes. A couple years ago, I forgot the limes on the shopping list and used lemonade ... that was a happy affair! It made a sweeter salsa, which, SB liked. This year, I'm returning to the traditional that's loaded up with cilantro and lime juice.

Sitting this afternoon with a snack and a glass of wine, SB and I decided that we're going to fire-roast (broil, people) a huge batch of the bumper crop of tomatoes and can them with sprigs of basil and a bit of olive oil. I go through cans and cans of Muir fire-roasted tomatoes in the fall and winter. Let's try to make our own and save a few bucks. Ours are just as organic as Muir's, as we are a no-pesticide or organic pest treatment gardening enterprise. I'll keep you posted on how the tomatoes come out ... or just post An Aside photo and mini-post.

In the meantime, make some salsa with your garden tomatoes! You'll love to pop a small jar, come wintertime Super Bowl party and think back to summertime canning season ! One more look at those gorgeous tomatoes ...

Tomato Salsa

8- 8 oz. jelly jars
rings and lids to cover them

In a large saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes:

2 lbs. seeded and chopped plum tomatoes, small dice
1 large sweet onion, small dice
6 small or 3 large jalapeno peppers, very small chop
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
1 heaping tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. tomato paste
1 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. fresh lime juice

Using a ladle, fill jars to within ¼ inch from the rim of the jelly jar, wipe clean the top rim, and place lids and rings atop jars and screw down firmly.

Place in a large pot of boiling water and be sure to cover the top of the jars with 2 inches of water.

Cover and boil for 10 minutes.

Remove the jars, check that the lids are screwed on tightly, and leave on a clean towel-covered counter until the lids ‘pop’ and the jars are sealed.

Store in a cool, dark place for a month and then the salsa has cured.

Note: When you serve the salsa, you can chop fresh mango, pineapple, peaches, or spiced apples. If you sauté the fruit for a moment in just a bit of sugar, the juices are released and the salsa is even more flavorful.


  1. oh my, I love your cut-glas jars!... we're experiencing an autumnal preview week... i'm hoping summer will return i full force next week but I don't think we'll be quite so lucky... x

  2. I'm curious about your canning method for the fire roasted tomatoes. Will you use a pressure canner? I'm guessing your salsa had enough acid from the vinegar to use the hot water bath method, but the tomatoes will not?

  3. Homemade salsa is the best. My recipe is very close to yours. I enjoy cracking open a jar in the middle of winter or Super Bowl Sunday!


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