Monday, July 20, 2009

Veggie transformation...

On Saturday, Hubby and I went to a local farm to buy some fresh veggies. This farm has been around for as long as I can remember. More than 60 years, I think. Mom used to take us there as kids to pick strawberries. Yummy! As well as strawberries, they have tons of locally grown produce and occasionally some shipped in from other places, when they can't get enough local produce.

Hubby and I had a ball, though it was really hot and we didn't want to hang out there long. The farm does have a big building, so you are not in the hot sun, but it is cooled by fans and we were wanting some AC!

We loaded up a cart with corn on the cob, green beans, new potatoes, tomatoes, onions, various pepper, apples, plums, one banana (LOL! It was the only one slightly green and I don't buy really ripe ones.), celery, and lettuce. I think that was it. We filled 2 of my really big reusable tote bags and it only cost $26. Hubby was impressed as always. The produce there is so fresh and almost always cheaper than any stores.
I didn't take pics of everything we got, but I did take of pic of these veggies we bought so I could try my hand at making and canning salsa!
Yesterday, I pulled out my trusty food processor and got to work. I used tomatoes, banana peppers, onions, jalapenos, red cherry pepper and some bell peppers that are not in this pic. I won't go into the minute details of making the salsa, since I didn't take picks, but it entailed peeling, seeding, chopping and dumping in my stew pot. Then simmering.

After is was all mixed together and simmering, Hubby came in for a taste and declared it "restaurant quality". LOL! It really did turn out delish!

After simmering for a while, I put in canning jars and processed in a water bath. Something I had never done before. I make jam, but use the inversion method, so had not used water bath processing. It was totally easy!
Here is the final product:

I am so proud! Clearly I made a small batch. I didn't want to make a ton of it and then find out that we wouldn't eat it. Now that I know I can do it, I will be making more. The only thing that would make it better is if we could get the veggies for free. Alas, apartment dwelling does not lend itself to planting a large veggie garden.

Here is the recipe for my salsa. I took a recipe I found and modified to suit us.

Zesty Salsa

5 cups chopped, peeled Tomatoes (about 6 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups seeded and diced banana peppers (about 1/2 lb.)
1 cup seeded and diced bell peppers (2 large peppers)
2 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (1 large)
1 cup seeded and chopped jalapenos (about 1/2 lb.)
¼ cup seeded and chopped red cherry peppers (6 golf ball sized peppers)
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS Salt
½ cup + 1/8 cup cider Vinegar
Hot Pepper Sauce (optional, to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into 5, hot, pint jars; leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

There you go!


Jennifer-A Quest for Cents said...

Wow! That does look super easy. Maybe I should consider canning. Thanks for the tips!

Helene said...

Can you help me get over my fear of canning?
We are growing banana and jalapeno not to mention we are up to 18 tomato plants

Ace said...

sounds delish!

something for you on my blog!

Frances said...

Jennifer and Helene, thanks for stopping by! I too had a fear of canning, even though my mom and sisters do it. As did my granny. I don't have a garden, so canning wasn't a necessity and I have a big freezer, so always freeze my veggies.

But salsa is something we use a TON of and it is getting harder to get great deals on it.

Now, if I just lived closer to my mom, sisters and brother, where I could get veggies for free! LOL!

Frances said...

Ace, thanks for stopping by! I will be by for a visit.

Jessica said...

I love local produce. I always get excited to go to the farmer's market. Everything tastes so much better and you can find heirloom veggies too.

Frances said...

I agree, Jessica. I can't wait to retire and move somewhere that I can have a garden! We are very fortunate to live so close to an excellent farm.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Yummo!! But you forgot fresh CILANTRO!!!! It "makes" salsa!!

I've never canned before but it always looked so complicated!

A.Marie said...

My Hubs and Teen Son LOVE salsa; they eat it up as fast as I can make it. I usually freeze my salsa, but yours looks WAAAAAY better than mine does. I think I might have to try the canner for mine. Now, we just have to help Helene to get over her "canner fear!" :)

Frances said...

Queenie, I intentionally left out cilantro. Hubby,though a fan of all things hot, does not care for cilantro. Go figure.

Frances said...

A.Marie, I have been told by a lot of people that they freeze salsa all the time. I just didn't have any room in my freezer. LOL! And I had some empty pint jars. It seemed the perfect solution.

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas said...

Looks yummy... I have my salsa making routine, but nothing as professional as yours, hehe... never though to add banana peppers to the mix! Will have to give it a try : ).

Frances said...

Hi, Jules! Thanks for stopping by!

The salsa is delish! Though not quite spicy enough for Hubby. Next time, I will have to add more jalapenos. LOL!