We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Monday, September 7, 2009

Salsa Making 101....Sort Of

A couple of summers ago we had enough tomatoes and donated jalepenos that Coach tried his hand at salsa making. Although he and one of his offspring liked the result....me...not so much.

Enter the scientist side of Coach. Which never leaves....

Did you know that he makes his living as a microbiologist? EVERYTHING at our house is an experiment. I finally put my foot down a few years back about the "experimental" garden we would have every year and hence the surplus of tomatoes.....

Anyway, Coach and his one offspring finally have experimented enough and found a salsa recipe that is a keeper....

Fresh Salsa
by The Hays Crew
1/2 green, yellow and red pepper, choppedchoppedchopped
8 cups of diced tomato
1 large diced onion (original recipe calls for 3--WHEW--that's a lot for us!)
2 to 5 jalapeno peppers and seeds--or as many as you want
8 oz. tomato sauce
1-3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 to 2/3 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Mix. Let stand 10 minutes. Eat. Or can it for later.

Chopped tomato by College Girl. Picture by me. Which is why it sucks. Geez. But this is where you might make some adjustments in the recipe if you were planning to share your salsa with anyone....we don't peel our tomatoes. Which is kind of a debate amongst us....peel or not to peel? If it is just us eating it...not to peel. If we were going to give it as a gift or take it to a function...peel. Since we don't share food real well or get invited to functions....not to peel.

Chopping by Frack. Chopchopchop. She is really the master at this job. Again--I suck. My chunks are too chunky and when you eat it on a chip sometimes you only get peppers and you think you are gonna die from the heat. Just sayin.'

She says to chop that cilantro as fine as possible. OK. What she says.

We had some banana peppers. Well, I think that is what they are....so we chopped and added them. We really probably have around 10 jalapeno and banana peppers in this batch. This is when Coach joined the fun because I needed to get my jars ready for the canning process.

This is how it looks as fresh salsa. You could put this in the refrigerator and eat it right away. It is VERY tasty. Almost addictive. And it smells soooooo good in my house at this point that you can't even smell that stinky dog. Love her.

But I went ahead and canned it for later in the winter. I filled my sterilized jars with the salsa and added a tablespoon of lemon juice. That's what BeckyHomecky told me to do. For acidity. I teach third grade...don't ask me.........

This is actually the third time we have made salsa this season. The first time we just ate (in about an hour) it fresh, the second time we made a double batch and canned around 4 quarts. This time we made a triple batch and got 7 quarts. I wanted pints but there were no jars to be found in town. And even though I was at that store-that-shall-remain-nameless-but-pisses-me-off-on-a-regular-basis on Saturday (stupid move--Game Day--ugh) they had moved the canning isle and I didn't have the energy to try and find a clerk to ask for help or look on every isle--so we went with quarts. I water bathed the jars. Again, BeckyHomecky and Grandma Cindy said--so that is what I did.

College Girl found this batch a little hot.....which gave us all a crack up. We had a really good time making salsa. College Girl chopped tomatoes, I chopped onion and did the canning, Coach chopped hot peppers, Frack chopped peppers, cilantro and did the mixing of ingredients, and Frick was the errand boy (aka---Supervisor).

Thanks Hays Crew for the great time......Just sayin'.

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Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17