Sep 3 2010

Let’s Salsa…{a story of sacrifice, generosity & flavor}

Once in a while you have to take a break from work and do something different.

So, besides design, paper, pens, fonts, color, fall, kittens {and of course my husband, Justin & kiddo, Branton} I {heart} cooking/baking. Let me tell you a little story and give you an amazing recipe for salsa!

It all started the spring after we moved here… of course we are going to have a garden, Justin says. And so we did. There was already a plot that just needed worked up. For not knowing much about gardening it did pretty well. We do have an endless amount of resources {a.k.a. family} to ask what we are doing wrong, what to plant or not and how to get rid of weeds. We were able to put some beans up and make a ton of zucchini bread — our neighbors & family were generous enough to share their sweet corn too. I hadn’t gotten my salsa recipe yet, so didn’t get that done.

The next year comes & my sweet Justin decides we need to make our garden plot even bigger than it already was. So he did. And we had the best sweet corn you can imagine, beans coming out our ears & enough tomatoes that I needed to find a salsa recipe and quick! I found one recipe & my mom was here so she pretty much made it while I was on my computer. It was really good, chunky, had good flavor, but just not quite what I wanted. Well, in my googling of salsa recipes I learned a couple things. You are supposed to use paste tomatoes for salsa… ha, what are paste tomatoes? Romas are one… and of course I had no paste tomatoes at all in my abundant supply. So, back to google I went… I found this recipe and this time my mom was back in WA so Melinda {a.k.a. mom-n-law} took on the duty of the salsa queen, while I supervised and said too much or too little. The things moms do for their kids!

We tried one batch… great flavor, this is it… but not hot enough. So next time we added more jalapenos… we ended up using 40 jalapenos in a recipe that called for 6. This was definitely it… it had just the right heat, was nice and thick & had the best flavor ever. Anytime we pulled a jar out when we had company it was gobbled up pretty quickly. That’s gotta be a good sign.

This year I was so excited about making salsa… we ended up planting close to 100 plants. And wouldn’t you know… we had the worst floods & extreme weather this year and it probably didn’t help that I did a little {or a lot} experimenting with epson salts. Needless to say, I got NO tomatoes. It was pretty sad to think that I wouldn’t even have a chance to make salsa. Well… our generous relatives came through yet again. Aunt Carla shared her tomatoes with us! And Melinda once again stepped in to help me with the salsa… have I mentioned that she doesn’t even like salsa… this is where the sacrifice part comes in. She stood there and cut the 6 cups of onions with tears streaming down her face. She did draw the line at cutting up the jalapenos… I didn’t mind doing that especially if it meant having salsa. We ended up putting up 20 pints and used these cool ball jars… see pic below.

This is where I think of God and how amazing He is. Of course I could have lived without the salsa and been fine, even happy. But He loves us so much and cares about us… even the little things. He wants us to enjoy life, He knows how hard it can be. And I just love it when He gives us these little blessings… keep your eyes out.

AMAZING SALSA RECIPE
This is where I found the salsa recipe.
Click {http://www.great-salsa.com/canning-salsa-tomato-paste.html}
Of course I tweaked it a bit, cause that’s what I do.
I didn’t add chiles or oregano. I did add the cumin, 1 T chili powder and cilantro. And I added about 10 jalapenos this year… taste it and make it the heat you enjoy! The recipe said it wasn’t safe to tweak too much… but I had to do a bit.

I hope you are inspired to cook/bake something… thanks for stopping by & have a great labor day weekend.
–Britta