You Say “Tomato.” I say “Enough Already!”

     Have you ever found yourself in possession of over 200 pounds of tomatoes and fuzzily wondered how this had happened?

What have I done?!

     This happened to me in mid-August and only now has the trauma healed enough for me to be able to tell the tale.  I will start by pointing out that it was 210 pounds of tomatoes, to be exact.  They were procured at the same food auction where Mom and I bought 2 and ½ bushels of peaches the week earlier.  We only had a vague idea of what we wanted to do with all the juicy red orbs, but my desire was obvious and my terms specific as I repeatedly raised my auction number and bid on those bushels.

     It took nearly a week to finish canning all of them, because we had to wait for several to ripen.  This is what I finally ended up with (Mom canned her share slightly differently):  19 quart jars of quartered tomatoes, 20 pint jars of sauce, 6 pints of Mexican-seasoned tomatoes and 6 pints of Italian-seasoned tomatoes.

     I had intended to make more salsa, but when the time came I just wanted to get the damn tomatoes in the jar.  Now, two months later, I’m kicking myself for not stockpiling salsa; my supply is running frighteningly low.  I had a request from Jill at Unperfect Garden for my salsa recipe.  It is from my trusty Ball canning book.

Fresh Vegetable Salsa  (makes about ten 8-oz jars or five pint jars)

7 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper

8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (5.5oz) tomato paste

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp ground cumin

  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all the ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare your canner, jars and lids.

  3. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

  4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process both 8-ounce and pint jars for 20 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait five minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

my favorite tomato

     Unlike my father, I abhor eating tomatoes by themselves (Dad likes them with a sprinkling of salt).  I do otherwise love them, though, and I believe I will try my hand at canning them again next year, if only to supply myself with a year’s worth of salsa!


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4 responses to “You Say “Tomato.” I say “Enough Already!”

  1. I’m jealous. I been trying to find tomatoes on sale so I can can sauce. I would be set for the winter with that lot.

  2. Pingback: Canning Homemade Salsa, or, I’m Gonna Need More Chips « purplepixieindixie·

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