Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adventures in Canning!

One cold wintery night in winter....

Me: Honey, I think I want a garden.
Rob: Ok, let's get some seeds and start planting!
Me: I hope you know what you're doing, because I do not have a green thumb!

About a month later....all the seedlings are dead!

One Saturday night in late April/early May.....

Me: Honey, I think I want a gardern.
Rob: Ok, I hope it isn't like the seeds!
Me: *rolls eyes*
Rob: What do you want to plant?
Me: Tomatoes! And peppers! And onions! And broccoli! And cauliflower! And more tomatoes!!!

Fast forward to June and our garden is over flowing! We can't give all the peppers and tomatoes we have away.

<3 Garden <3
Broccoli, peppers and cukes

All those big ones are tomatoes!
This is the third time we've picked the peppers!
 So I came up with the brilliant idea to can some salsa! I didn't really go by a recipe for the salsa but a combination of a few that I found on Pinterest. I didn't follow any one close enough to link to for comparison.

**DISCLAIMER** I'm sooooooo bad at following directions and measuring when it comes to cooking! I just usually go with it and taste as I go so any food blogs I post I will try to link to the original recipe, but it is guaranteed that I did not follow the directions 100%

First I washed the jars and lids in hot water:

Ball Pint Jars
I just filled up a Meijer grocery bag with as many tomatoes as I could. I filled the sink with white vinegar and water and let the tomatoes sit and get clean. Then I scrubbed what dirt didn't come off naturally and rinsed the tomatoes. 
 Then I placed the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for approx. 1 minute so they would get a little bit soft and I could take the skins off easily.

Ice bath for the 'matoes!
 I ended up using only the Roma tomatoes, mostly because that's all that would fit into the pot and I was getting quite the bowl full already! After the tomatoes cooled in the ice bath I peeled them.

Cut off the stemmy part and took off the skin
 While I was taking care of the tomatoes Rob roasted some jalapeno and serrano peppers. For the salsa I used 4 of each pepper chopped up with the seeds.

They smelled awesome!
After I chopped up all the tomatoes and peppers I put them back into the pot. I also added about 3 cloves of garlic, half of a red onion, half of a sweet onion, two cans of corn, a bunch of cilantro, salt and pepper and the juice of a lime. I read on one of the Pinterest recipes to add white vinegar, not sure what that did, but I added about 3/4c. of white vinegar. Then I cooked it! It cooked for about 45 minutes or so, but at least 30 minutes at boiling.

Adding the yummy!
 Then we took the boiling salsa and filled the pint jars with the salsa. Ours filled up 6 1/2 pints. We put the seals and the rings on and then submerged them into boiling water for 15 minutes.

Getting canned!!
 Here is the finished product! It took about 30 minutes for all the "buttons" on the seals to stop clicking, but they all did so that meant they were sealed!

Where's the chips??
We let them cool over night and then moved them to the basement. We did end up opening the half pint about a week after we canned and was happy with the overall taste, but disappointed the salsa didn't have more heat. We have a TON of tomatoes still in the garden so I'm going to try my hand again with the jars and seals we have leftover and see if I can get a hotter salsa!

Overall, it was super easy to do and it was a great first adventure in canning!!! 

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