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September 16, 2013

the other weekend i attempted my first batch of homemade salsa and canning!  i love homemade salsa and thought it would be the perfect thing to make with all of my garden tomatoes.  after doing some research there is a zillion different recipes, techniques and ingredients people put into making salsa.  who knew?!?  i have to say i do love some mango salsa,  raspberry salsa, and black bean salsa...but i thought for my first time at this i better make some classic salsa.  but even that... add garlic or no garlic? brown sugar or white sugar?  i didn't know what worked and what was best. i got a very tried and tested recipe from my aunt & decided to give that a go for this year.  first gathering all of the ingredients.. garden tomatoes, green pepper & white onion from the farmer's market, canning salt, celery, garlic, green chiles, tomato paste, white sugar & vinegar.  

i used beefsteak, roma & cherry tomatoes.  first you heat the water until it boiling and then blanch the tomatoes so you can peel the skin off of them.  blanching is putting the tomatoes briefly in boiling water & then immediately moving them into ice cold water.  the skin them becomes very easy to peel off with your hands. 

after that is done chop up each tomato into small chunks.  place in a very large container. add the chopped onion & canning salt.  i chose to chop most of the onion in the food processor so it was very fine & them hand chop 3 onions that were chunkier. 

 mix it all together & cover it.  once this is completed let it sit on your counter for 3 hours. 

meanwhile you can start chopping the rest of the ingredients up, sanitizing the jars and getting everything prepared.  my sister blended the jalapenos, green chiles, celery & garlic so it was very fine.  my mom chopped the green pepper in small chunks. 

you might want to start heating the water because a pot this large takes a while to get boiling!!  once the 3 hours are up... strain the tomato mixture to get as much of the water out as possible.  steph found it easiest to do in small scoops & push down with a spatula.  after it is all strained put in a large pot with the other green mixture. 

you need to simmer the salsa for 20 minutes (this really took about 45 minutes because it took about 20 minutes just get the salsa heated).  while steph was doing this i sanitized all of the jars in boiling water & placed them out on clean towels to dry.  it is very important to have them sanitized because otherwise bacteria can grow inside & the salsa will not stay fresh inside the jars. 

next it is time to fill the jars!!!! with a funnel scoop fill salsa in each jar to the top.  while i was doing this my mom was tightening the lids on each one. 

after each jar is filled and lids are on it is time to boil again!!  each jar should boil for 20 minutes. and with only 5 fitting in the pot it takes a while to boil them all.  once they are done lay them out on the towels and each one should "pop" that is how you know they are sealed. 

your salsa is complete!!!! we made in total 26 jars of salsa (although about 10 were in small jam jars...)  i was impressed!!! i am excited to have a bunch of salsa to enjoy all year... or until it is gone!!  it took all day but definitely worth it!!  

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