I believe I have mentioned this before, but I have an obsession with redecorating. If I could afford to redecorate my home every couple of months, I probably would. I like my surroundings to change, even a little. You’ve probably noticed that my header images change nearly once a month. And here I am again with a new template.
The new photo in the header is one that I took at our farmer’s market in our old hometown. There was a pepper man who had the most beautiful basketfulls of peppers every summer, and each summer, J and I would eagerly await his arrival at the farmer’s market midsummer. His arrival usually coincided with the height of our very short tomato season there, and so we would make wonderful salsa, for which we always grew our own cilantro. We would can it and give it to friends; we would eat it on almost everything. It’s one of our favorite summer foods to make. In fact, our new kitchen in our new hometown is decorated with photographs of our favorite foods from farmer’s market, most of which happen to also be salsa ingredients.
To me those photos of farmer’s market represent these times in our lives when we are taking better care of ourselves. Last summer was our first summer trying to get pregnant, and the fresh, local, organic produce at the farmer’s market made it so easy to stay healthy, to feel as though I was taking care of my body and readying it for our baby. I hope I am able to recapture that feeling this summer as we make our way back to trying to build our family.
ETA: Our Basic Tomato Salsa Recipe!
I’m going to give the most basic recipe here because the best salsa is the one that contains your favorite ingredients. We use the following:
- 5 or 6 large tomatoes (we like a combination of colors as well as sweetness and acidity), diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1-3 fresh jalapenos (or your other favorite chiles), minced
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- a large handful of cilantro, chopped
- juice of 2-3 limes
- splash of red wine vinegar (to taste)
- a couple of dahses of Tapatio sauce
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and test for flavors. Add more lime, salt, Tapatio, or vinegar as needed.
Other ingredients I have added in the past include celery, red bell pepper, and dashes of cumin. If these things sound good to you, add them! This recipe is always in flux, but it’s definitely important to have fresh, somewhat firm, but definitely ripe tomatoes.
Now, as far as “canning” goes, I should warn you that we don’t really “can” the salsa because we want to keep it as fresh as possible. Rather, we only immerse the jars long enough to seal them, and then we tell people to keep the salsa in the fridge. This way, there isn’t the same danger of botulism or salmonella poisoning (we’re not fond of poisoning our loved ones), and the salsa keeps for a couple of weeks. I’m not much of a canner, but this tends to work well for preserving the stuff for a short time. I think to truly can the stuff, you would need to make sure that you have a larger amount of acid (more vinegar, lime), but I would consult someone who knows a lot more about canning than I do.
Honestly, though, the best way to make salsa and share it is to make a large batch, have some friends over, serve it with your favorite tortilla chips. It typically disappears fairly quickly.