Oh yes I CAN! :)

6 Jul

My mother-in-law came to visit the other day, and she brought us a huge basket of tomatoes. Of course, being a true Texan, I look at tomatoes and instantly see SALSA! 🙂 I had never canned anything in my life before, so I started to scour the Internet for recipes and tips and tricks. I really couldn’t find just one site that had all of the information, so I figured I would post this for you to show you how I did it!

First things first.. SANITIZE all of your jars, lids, etc. My dishwasher has a Sanitize cycle. This cycle takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R., so do this first!

Next I washed all of my tomatoes. I didn’t count, but this is how many I used.
Now take the tomatoes and cut an “X” in the bottom. This will make peeling the skins off super easy after you boil them.
Then you need to take out the stem. Just cut it out and don’t get too fancy. It can be ugly.
NOW– I do not have a picture of this step, but all you do next is put the tomatoes in a pot in water and boil them for a few minutes. You will see the skins start to loosen. It doesn’t take too long, just a few minutes.

I made an ice bath to stick the tomatoes in to shock them into submission after I boiled and drained them. Once they were cool enough, I peeled off the skins and stuck them in a strainer and SQUISHED! I wanted to get out some of the juice and seeds so that my salsa wouldn’t be too runny. You can always save your tomato juice for something else if you are frugal! 😉

I got out my food processor and chopped up all of the tomatoes next, along with all of the other ingredients. I added them to a stock pot on the stove and simmered for about 20 minutes, and then it was ready to add to the jars!

If you are going to can your salsa, this canning funnel is a must! Add your salsa to the jars, leaving about 1/4-inch of head space along the top.

(See?? About 1/4-inch from the top of the jar.)
Take a plastic or wooden spoon end, and run it around the perimeter of the jar to insure that there are no bubbles. (Everything I read said NOT to use metal to do this. I am not sure why, but I am not going to ruin my salsa because I am curious.)
Wipe the rims clean and close them up. Don’t tighten the jars too much, we want air to escape during the canning process; just “finger tip” tighten it. Put your cans in the canning rack and lower them into the pan of hot water.
Make sure the water comes up to at least an inch over the top of the jars. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for 20-minutes.
Once you take the jars out of the stockpot, you will know that they are sealed if the button in the middle is pressed down. If you can press it up and down, it’s not sealed properly!

TA-DA! And here is the fruit (or salsa) of my labor! 🙂 It’s way better than store bought salsa!

I used this spice packet to start out with. I used the “HOT” one, and it really wasn’t very hot. At least not to me.

Here is the recipe I used:
About 25 tomatoes
6 jalapeno peppers (I seeded half of them. If you are a big wimp, seed them all.)
2 bunches of cilantro
10 garlic cloves
3 large onions
Mrs. Wages Hot Salsa spice mix
salt to taste
vinegar
(*** You have to add vinegar or citrus juice to the mixture to ensure that you have the right pH level for canning so that it will not spoil. I used vinegar because that is what the back of Mrs. Wages mix said, but next time, I will use lime juice. Lime juice belongs in salsa better than vinegar does, but feel free to use what you want!)

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