When August rolls around, I always think of garden-fresh tomatoes. Growing up in the Midwest, August was the month that produced red, juicy and sweet tomatoes. I sometimes miss my tomato garden as I would have had lots of tomato plants that produced lots of tomatoes. I would can salsa, marinara sauce, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes for chili, and the list goes on and on.
I’ve lived in Arizona now for two summers and the heat isn’t so bad, and it sure beats scooping snow in the winter. I love to go to the local farmer’s market and reap the benefits of the fresh produce, especially the tomatoes. My clients love the fact that I use the local, fresh produce for their families.
I was in Target the other day and walked by the “canning” section and decided to go to the market and buy some tomatoes and can some fresh salsa. It is way better than the kind you buy at the store, in my opinion of course. I haven’t done this in two years and it was quite fun. It also makes a fun gift.
Now, grab a friend, a cutting board, a sharp knife and a bag of chips and you are on your way to fresh salsa.
I have provided my favorite recipe for homemade salsa that has been in my family for several years. You can adjust the amount of jalapeno’s to fit your liking. This recipe I would say is medium heat. Happy salsa making.
What you’ll need:
40 tomatoes – peeled* and chopped
6 large onions, chopped
6 green peppers, chopped
10 large jalapeño peppers, seeds and all, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, minced
24 oz. of Hunts tomato paste
1 cup white vinegar
¼ cup canning salt**
¼ cup brown sugar
2 T. chili powder
Few shakes of hot sauce
Combine all together in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Place in hot jars and seal with a lid and ring.
*To peel tomatoes: Place tomatoes in boiling water, after a couple of minutes, the skin will split. Take out of boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. The skin will peel right off.
**Be sure to use canning salt as it is finer than regular salt and will give you better results.