Thursday, September 18, 2008

Salsa Time

The Bag Lady was really lazy busy yesterday, and couldn't decide on a subject for a blog post for today. Truth be told, she still isn't sure what this post is about.....

With the shorter daylight hours, and cooler temperatures, her thoughts turn more toward indoor activities, and cozy evenings spent cuddling in front of the woodstove. Of course, most of the cuddling part is with her cats and dog, because the Rancher is not much of a cuddler! Fortunately, this area has been experiencing a bit of a heat-wave - ordinarily, our temperatures at this time of year are around 16C - today's forecast high is for 24C, so no need to break out the hot chocolate and wooly undies quite yet!

The Bag Lady has a mountain of ripening tomatoes on her counter, and thinks there are finally enough ripe to make a batch of her world-famous salsa! This is the salsa that she has sold at craft sales and farmer's markets, and has had people hunting her down, begging for more! One fellow bought some at the farmer's market, then hunted the Bag Lady down at her regular job (okay, okay, not that big a deal - she worked in the General Store at the time and he stopped there for coffee fairly regularly - sheesh, she was just trying to make it sound good!!) to beg for more..... salsa, that is!

She has had several people ask her for her salsa recipe, and she has given this a LOT of thought. She has tweaked and fiddled around with the recipe for many years and, although generous to a fault by nature, has decided she is not going to post the actual recipe she uses.
(Does that make her a bitch? Oh, well.) Some secrets just have to be kept!

What she will do is post the basic recipe and a few hints. Remember, though, that this recipe is for canning, so it makes quite a bit (5 pint jars) and has to be processed in a boiling water canner for the proper amount of time.


8 jalapeno peppers
7 Cups prepared tomatoes (approx. 6 lbs)
2 Cups coarsely chopped onions
1 Cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can tomato paste
3/4 Cup white vinegar
1/2 Cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Remove seeds and finely chop jalapeno peppers. Blanch, peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. Measure 7 cups.

Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently, about 30 minutes or until salsa reaches desired consistency.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of rim, apply lids and bands and place in boiling water canner.

Process 20 minutes (at altitudes up to 1,000 ft - allow more time if you are at higher elevations)

Hints: the Bag Lady does not like cilantro, so she leaves it out. She also uses more garlic. You can leave some of the seeds from the jalapenos in if you want your salsa hotter, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

So there you have it. Salsa almost like the Bag Lady makes.


Christine said...

I LOVE salsa.

It only comes in tiny jars here (and it's not spicy at all) so I've wanted to make my own for ages.


Leah J. Utas said...

Dang that sounds good. I'm fond of cilantro myself, but I'm waaaay too lazy to tackle anything of this magnitude.
I'm glad you're putting the tomatoes to good use.

the Bag Lady said...

Christine - I love salsa, too. I make batch after batch of the stuff, and try to vary how spicy it is to allow for different tastes.

dfLeah - Thanks. I should have said I don't like cilantro in this particular recipe. I'm weird that way.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really good. I'm now wishing the kitchen was bigger so I could try this (It's a common complaint I have about this apartment)

new*me said...

Keep your secrets :) I agree!

I am looking forward to cool evenings to cuddle too :) No wood stove here but my parents have 2 so maybe I'll go out there when I get the urge to smell the smoke ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Tricia - maybe you could cut down the recipe to fit into your small kitchen! (hehehehehehe)

New*me - I agree - some secrets are meant to be kept. I've worked really hard on "my" recipe to tweak it to this point.
And we use our woodstove to heat our living room, so it's always going when the weather is cold. Heating with wood is great, because you are always getting a bit of a workout, what with chopping wood, carrying it in, carrying out the ashes, etc.

JavaChick said...

Hmm. Looks similar to mine, though mine uses apple cider vinegar instead of white, and has oregano rather than cumin and cilantro. I actually really like cilantro, but I tend to prefer it in fresh salsas, guacamole, etc. I may add some cumin to my next batch though, we do like cumin. :)

the Bag Lady said...

Hehehehe, Javachick - do that! Trust me!

Unknown said...

:O The Bag Lay almost posted her secret salsa recipe!!! Eeee!

(I am happy/excited).

I love hot chocolate weather. It makes me happy.

Isn't autumn just the best time of year?

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - you're so cheery this morning! Autumn depresses me because it means the cold weather is coming....~~sigh~~ But I love the colours.

Reb said...

Sis! You scared me for a minute, I thought you were going to give away your secrets! Glad you didn't do that.

Anonymous said...

you are too funny, BL.

make you a b*tch? methinks not.

and we've established my lack of love fer the salsa so you can always tell ME and know Id not ever even attempt.

I need to do a taste test and buy or make a BUNCH as there has to be ONE Id like?


the Bag Lady said...

Reb - have no fear - a gal has to have one secret, and if mine is my recipe for salsa, so be it! (well, that and my real weight....) :)

Miz - perhaps you need to try mine.... haven't met anyone yet who didn't like it. :)

Missicat said...

Yum - thanks for sharing! I love being able to keep my windows open and feel the breeze through my place. Unfortunately - no woodstove. But two kitties make up for it! They are great cuddlers. :-) plus OF COURSE hot chocolate!

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat - there's nothing like snuggling with kitties to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Literally fuzzy - my little brats shed like crazy!!!!! :)

Emily said...

oh yummy! I love salsa. I hope your batch turned out excellent. And you're not a bitch at all for keeping your secret, I wouldn't tell anyone else either and then have them steal my fame and glory!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df bag lady,

Your generosity knows no bounds. I, for one, will never actually make the salsa. (the kitchen is not my best frrom.) However, I will spend lots of time thinking about your "hints" and pondering a few of my own.


the Bag Lady said...

Emily - Thanks! A gal has to have a secret or two!! (And unfortunately, I'm still sewing and haven't gotten to the salsa yet....~~sigh~~...very unco-operative fabric!)

dfTerrie - I'd trust you with all my kitchen secrets!! And I'd be curious to hear your hints, too!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Well, for one, anytime something calls for green peppers, I replace part or all with red, yellow or orange peppers (or a combo) depending on the color scheme I'm looking for. And there is always different vinegars--apple cider usually works for me.


Penny said...

Thanks so much for sharing Bag Lady! Basic recipes with tips on tops is my FAVOURITE way to cook as I am useless at following other people's instructions and like to plunge in and improvise! I have no respect for authority :0)

And of course I LOVE salsa, I have it on EVERYTHING.

And you are NOT a bitch, I wouldn't even have posted anything, I would have been all "Salsa, what salsa?"

TA x

Crabby McSlacker said...

Looks like a great recipe, and I think it's quite reasonable that you keep some of the specifics to yourself.

I'm with you on lots of garlic. Often store bought salsas don't have nearly enough.

the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie - great tips - thanks!

TA - I love salsa, too. And I love to tweak recipes. I'll make it exactly the way it reads the first time.... then I'll change it if I think it can be improved.

Crabby - another garlic-lover!! Yes!

Penny said...

Just like to chip in that my friends and I had a pickled garlic eating contest last night. I came second and I smell SO BAD today.

My immune system is dancing though!

TA x

the Bag Lady said...

Oooh - I love pickled garlic!! Hubby and I are always fighting over who gets the pickled garlic from the home-made dill pickles I make!

Love that you were in a contest - and came in second! But also glad you live so far away....
Oh, wait, what's that smell? :)

Geosomin said...

Mmmm...thanks. I've been dying to make salsa, but wanted a "tried and true" recipe to try. I'll be trying this I think...

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - let me know how it works out for you!