Shiny Tomato Salsa

SalsaEach fall the woman in our family get together to make big batches of canned salsa. It’s a tradition that’s been in our family for over 20 years. It happens each fall in my mom’s kitchen, with all of us pitching in. When my grandmother Frankie was still with us, she was chopping, tasting, hoisting, and cleaning alongside us – well into her late 80s! Among the many things I miss since moving to Vancouver, is salsa-making day. In addition to making salsa, we’d listen to Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells, laugh, gossip, drink coffee, and enjoy being together.

My mom Leslie and aunt Cate recently had their own salsa-making day. Cate snapped these pictures, capturing the moment, and it made me feel like I was there. Below is the recipe that we follow – a recipe from another aunt, Sheila. Feel free to use and adapt it to your tastes. We do all the time. The beauty of canning salsa is opening the jars months later and getting that burst of summer in your mouth. And the memories of making it. -bvox


Shiny Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Sheila Vockeroth

  • 7 540 ml cans diced tomatoes(drain most of juice)
  • 1 540 ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup each of seeded and coarsely chopped yellow, green, red peppers*
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup of vinegar (we have used all kinds: cider, white, balsamic, & combinations)
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 12 jalapenos*, chopped finely (where rubber gloves when handling peppers!)
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp of dried oregano or bunch of fresh oregano

*You can also mix and match your peppers…we usually hit the farmers market in the fall and get an assortment of peppers.

  1. Throw everything in stainless steel Dutch oven or stock pot (you might need two, we usually do)
  2. Bring to boil, boil gently for 30 minutes until it reaches the consistency you like.
  3. Fill canner or large pot with water for processing; Sterilize a dozen 500 ml jars and lids according to manufacturers label
  4. Ladle salsa into hot, sterilized jars leaving ½” headroom and wipe jar’s rims, put lids on, apply screw bands finger-tip tight.
  5. Place filled jars in canner of boiling water, when water is boiling, process for 25 minutes
  6. Remove jars, let cool for 24 hours, check jar seals Store in cool dark place, will be good to eat for at least one year.

nice autumn day 2015 062 Salsa

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