Sep 05 2012

Tomato Reminiscing

Some of us celebrate the last bits of summer with a trip to the beach over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I celebrate here in the mountains with the last of the summer tomatoes. It has been our tradition to visit the farmer’s market if we don’t have enough of our own tomatoes and make some salsa. If we are lucky enough, it will last until the next summer. We save lots of money by making our own since most premium salsas cost over 4 dollars for about half a pint and ours costs less than a dollar for a quart. Other benefits include knowing exactly what ingredients went into our creation which includes our choice to add less salt and use local ingredients. The recipe that we use is one that we got from my husband’s mom, Wanda. It calls for a pound of tomatoes, a pound of onion, a pound of peppers, a tablespoon of garlic, one teaspoon salt and ¼ cup vinegar. However, you can make it spicier or less spicy by changing the proportion of tomatoes and onions to peppers. We also add cilantro and sometimes even add some chipotles. We cook all the ingredients for an hour and a half with the exception of the cilantro which we add at the end. ( we make this recipe about 10 times the amount that I shared with you). After it has cooked down a little, we put it into canning jars and hot water bath it. For more information on canning using a hot water bath and making salsa, check out:
http://www.pickyourown.org/salsa.htm
For those of you not ready for a canning adventure, you can freeze up a batch instead and there is more about salsa making and a few recipes:
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn175.pdf

Consider beating the traffic, next Labor Day and make some salsa. Or better yet, stop by the farmer’s market and fix some this weekend. When summer is over, you will have more than just your photos to remember it and your taste buds will thank you!

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