Monday, March 14, 2011

GARDEN WEEK: Salsa Garden!

One big pot of salsa beginning to boil...a lot of work it took to get to this point!

If you are a salsa lover, you know that salsa is quite expensive in the stores:  no matter what brand.  The better the brand, the more you pay.  

I decided a long time ago, that I could make mine better and without the "cornstarch" thickener that I find some companies use to make their product so slimy and unappetizing.

By grocery store prices, a quart of salsa would go for a minimum of $9.  Quality ingredients and the chunkiness of mine makes it superior to anything you can buy.

We decided some time ago to start growing as many of the ingredients as we could for our salsa right in our own yard (I buy the garlic and the cilantro).  

It's pleasing to know that we put the work into and get the quality out of fresh from the garden produce that doesn't sit in a field, a truck or in a factory warehouse.  

Instead, it's picked, washed, and then cooked and goes straight into the jars--and everyone we gift with a jar, loves receiving it.  I've had offers to buy quarts of it, but have no idea how to price it, and have never sold it.

You will need for a SALSA GARDEN:
Roma tomatoes
Big Boy tomatoes
green peppers 
(red too, if you like)
banana peppers
jalepeno peppers

We plant more than we need of everything and I'll tell you why:  I won't start a batch of salsa with less than a bushel of tomatoes, because it is such a HUGE job, hard work, and it makes a royal mess--of course all worth it in the end, but I want to end up with a large number of quarts when I'm done, not just a couple.  

I usually take two to three days each September to make as much salsa as we need to eat and for gift giving and we have plenty and to spare.  I like having salsa to spare for two reasons:

1.  I like to make taco soup with my salsa.  It's awesome!
2.  Lots of gift giving, an appreciated, it's truly from the heart gift that people really appreciate--especially when they know we grew all of the produce ourselves.
3.  Next year might be a terrible drought or a blight year for tomatoes, and I can stretch one year's salsa into two years if I need to!

There is nothing like your own salsa without the chemicals and thickening ingredients included in the popular commercial brands.

My recipe for salsa can be found here.


1 comment:

Mrs. Cherry Heart said...

Joni, that looks yummy!
I usually make what we call end of the garden salsa! We use what ever is left at the end of canning everything....example > squash, zucchinni, corn, geanbeans etc.
It is wonderful and a great way to use up the left over veggies!

Smiles, Dolly