Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Salsa - 101

I use a packet mix called Mrs. Wages Tomato Salsa Mix.

It calls for 6lbs of tomatoes, 1/2 cups of vinegar and one packet. I add other stuff like peppers and onions, this time I didn’t have onions on hand so I didn’t add them. But the finished salsa still was very tasty!

I stated by cleaning and scalding the tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Then I drained and set them in cold water until they were cool enough to handle and pulled the skins off. If the skins didn’t crack I just sliced them with the knife and the skin just pulled right off. I then cored and cut the tomatoes into chunks.

Then I cut a few peppers to add to the mix. The peppers I used were REALLY HOT and my hands are still burning from them. I recommend wearing gloves when cleaning and cutting peppers. (You live and learn!) I used one of the big jalapenos and three of the small red pointy ones. The little ones were the ones that packed such a BIG punch. Hard to believe such little burgers could be so HOT!!!

In the pot I added the tomatoes, peppers, vinegar, and packet mix. And brought the mixture to a boil. Then simmered for 10 minuets, stirring occasionally.

I prepared the jars as the directions stated on the bottom of the box.

Then I filled each jar with the salsa, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Taking special care to wipe the top of the jars off with a damp paper towel. This helps ensure a good seal.

I place the lids on the jars loosely screwing on the rings. And then put the filled jars in the boiling water bath for 40 minutes to process.

After they cooled I heard each can POP indicating that they had sealed and preserved as they should have.

If you haven’t ever canned foods I recommend reading up on it before you try it. There are lots of good sites out there, click here to read more.

Food safety is very important.

After you read about it and understand what steps to take to ensure food safety, canning is an easy and fun way to preserve some of the best of summer produce!

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