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.
FRESH VEGETABLE SALSA
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.