Saturday, September 20, 2008

In Which I Blatantly Copy Karen

I saw some yummy looking home made salsa on Karen's blog the other day & figured I'd give it a try. The company I work for leases some of our undeveloped land to farmers each year and we employees have been tomato "poaching" all summer. (We don't really steal them, we ask the farmers nicely if we can have some and they always say yes.) So Friday I went out for the last chance tomatoes of the season & found a whole section of romas that I swear hadn't been there before. Maybe they just weren't ripe yet. Anyway! I turned this:

Into this:

And this:

I did extensive research on the subject of canning tomatoes on the internet & boy, it is serious business. You have to follow strict guidelines & safety precautions or you could get very sick or even DIE from eating bad canning. I was nervous to try it, but I sucked it up & went for it. Turns out, it is really easy and the 'precautions' are basically to add lemon juice to each jar of tomatoes. So for the tomatoes I just did tomatoes, a little water, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of salt and boiled the jars for 40 minutes. For the salsa, I followed the same recipe Karen did, but I made a couple mods. Now, making mods of canning recipes is strictly forbidden unless you follow a few simple rules (see page 3 of this pdf), which I did. I used 1.5 cups of jalapenos and 1 cup of green pepper to make it a little hotter, omitted the sugar, and added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar. I also added 1/2 cup of cilantro near the end of the cooking. I wasn't sure what kind of vinegar to use since it doesn't specify, so I used white. Next time I'll use cider vinegar though because I like the flavor of it better in general. It was a lot of work, but when you hear those jar lids seal one by one, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction.

In other Karen-like news, I too saw a turtle on my daily walk (she saw hers on her run, but I don't go that speed). I have to say my turtle sighting was a little scarier than hers because this thing is A. huge, B. covered in pond scum, and C. I think it's a snapping turtle. I thought it was a dinosaur or something at first. It scared the CRAP out of me because I see it every night swimming in the pond at the park, but it suddenly decided to cross the street to get to the creek right when I was walking that way. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but this thing is almost the size of a car tire!

OK, I'm done ripping off Karen's blog fodder. I'll try to be original next time! ;)


Karen said...

Heh. You're suppose to copy blog fodder...didn't you hear that? I think it's a law or something.

I got scared when I first looked into canning too. I am pretty sure I eliminated the sugar too. Forgot about that. I added lemon juice too and also forgot about that. I didn't add it to each jar though, I just dumped it into the pan. So much for saying I followed the recipe as is. I love that popping sound the jars make too!

I gotta tell you...that is one scary looking turtle. I bet seeing that thing during a run would seriously increase my speed!

Robin said...

I had heard about the scary canning stories before too - good to know that it's not as difficult as it sounds. Good job!